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2nd Law of Thermo relation to initial condition of universe

  1. Mar 8, 2015 #1

    rollingstein

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    Gold Member

    While reading some articles on Wikipedia I came upon one interesting statement that essential says (I've rephrased for clarity; correct me if I'm wrong):

    "The Time-asymmetry of the second law of thermodynamics is due to the initial conditions of our universe"

    Can someone elaborate on what this means? I always thought of the 2nd law as axiomatic / empirical & at best derived from statistical mechanics. But what's the connection to the initial conditions of our universe?

    Had the Initial Conditions been somewhat different could we have ended up with a time-symmetric 2nd Law? (or does that mean no 2nd law?)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-symmetry
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 9, 2015 #2

    DrClaude

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    Staff: Mentor

    This is explained in more details in the paragraph Macroscopic phenomena: the second law of thermodynamics.

    In a maximum entropy universe, there would be no drive towards higher entropy, and the time-asymmetry due to the second law (systems evolve towards higher entropy states, but not the other way around, in any significant fashion) would go away, with fluctuations in either direction (towards higher or lower entropy) equally probable.
     
  4. Mar 9, 2015 #3

    rollingstein

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    Is there an upper bound on how high the entropy of our universe can eventually get?
     
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