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second law of thermodynamics

 

Definition: the entropy of the universe moves toward a maximum; similarly, the entropy of any isolated microcosm (a chemical reaction) proceeds spontaneously only in that direction that yields an increase in entropy, entropy being maximal at equilibrium. To quote G.N. Lewis, “Every process that occurs spontaneously is capable of doing work; to reverse any such process requires the expenditure of work from the outside.”

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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