“Hold on a minute,” you say. “Entropy doesn’t build stuff. Entropy tears stuff down!” That is certainly the common impression people have about the Second Law of Thermodynamics. It’s also dead wrong.
Rewind the clock to the middle of the 19th century. In one of the all-time greatest advances in the history of science, Ludwig Boltzmann has just used the statistics of how molecules move to explain why heat always flows from hot things to cold things. It is a beautiful, elegant piece of work. It is also counterintuitive to a generation of scientists who are only beginning to get used to the atomic theory of matter.
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