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Maxwell's demon

Posted by tigerhawkvok on November 29, 2008 21:01 in physics

So, while Astro has had the pretty awesome result of imaging exoplanets, Maxwell's Demon is a very old hypothetical to invalidate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Science has a short article on a real life demonstration of Maxwell's demon, via reflection of atoms on a light wall. Turns out the "answer" to the puzzle lives in both irreversable information erasure and to the fact that the entropic state of an atom and its bound emitted photon are unbound as the photon travels freely away from the atom. Check out the article for a fairly readible analysis.

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