Sunday, July 12, 2015

Hail the Second Law

Recently, I have been studying basic Thermodynamics as a precursor to the next semester, when I will formally be starting my PhD with a subject that is eminently more relevant to my research than just about anything CEE has to offer (ironically). Back when I was in IITR, Saharanpur Campus to be exact, it was taught rather badly, by a certain professor (who is now dead) who was thoroughly uninterested in teaching us anything. It is to the credit of my own genius, and that of my peers, that I was able to figure out how to read a steam table in the first place!

Now, having had to unexpectedly revisit those concepts for my research in preparation of fully relaunching myself in the area of thermal analysis, I've really come to appreciate the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a law that people don't seem to give enough credit to. The universe literally runs on the law - our sense of time, direction, even work and energy itself come from the law. The law is intuitive, except in its most explicit form, which  makes no sense because it includes the property of entropy, which is not very intuitive. Nonetheless, reviewing the second law and understanding its implications, one gets a better idea of just how the universe works. 

No comments: