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Re: [vox] physics time (was: Smoothing out the powerline signal?)
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Re: [vox] physics time (was: Smoothing out the powerline signal?)

begin ME <dugan@passwall.com> 
> Ooooooohhh now this is good stuff!
thanks!  after teaching so many undergrad classes, it's good to know
that other people like physics.   all i ever see are a bunch of
undergrads who want to know "will it be on the test?".   ;-)

> Now here is a piece of nearly trivia:
> What is the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics?
> Looking it up is cheating here, but even among Physicists, it is
> considered a kind of trivia.
heh.  i know the exact statement.  one of them, at least.  there's a
bunch of different ways of saying the same thing.  the one i like best

for any isolated thermodynamic process (any process whose equation of
state can be described by the 2nd law of thermodynamics), the increase
of the system's entropy is non-negative.

btw, i just realized that in my previous post, i called the 2nd law of
termo the 1st.  oops!  the 2nd law is the equation of state.  the 1st
law has to do with systems in thermodynamic contact being in equilibrium
after a long time.

my favorite professor once told me that out of all the physical theories
that mankind has, the one that is most important, most true and most
pervasive is the 3rd law of thermo.  if someone comes up with a theory
that contradicts, say, quantum mechanics, he'll be considered a
crackpot, but people will at least be willing to listen.  diss the 3rd
law, and you just talk the hand...   :)

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