Sunday, November 15, 2020

Review of Maxwell's Demon: Why Warmth Disperses and Time Passes by Hans Christian Von Baeyer

This review was written by Eugene Kernes

Book can be found in:
Genre = Science

Elaborate Description

While the perpetual motion machine breaks the 1st law of thermodynamics, Maxwell’s Demon breaks the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Even though both ideas have been proven to be wrong, their very idea helped not only define the laws of heat and their representation, but also provoke the conception of marvelous other ideas which prove to be right. This book is more than an exposition of Maxwell’s Demon. This book is about the history and evolution of the what heat is heat while containing many epistemological insights.

The battles of what heat is, took heat out of the context of chemistry and into the context of physics. From heat as a substance to heat as a motion. When heat could not be controlled with certainty, it forced the field of physics to seek probabilities. With the death of many theories came about the life of others such as the significance of heat being information. Maxwell’s Demon incapacity to break the 2nd law of thermodynamics, produced a new life in the field on information.

The book is well written but many transitions lack gumption. The authors lead the reader into the discovery of an insight, but transition is subtle causing the discovery to be underwhelming and easy to not misunderstand. Some parts of the book are difficult to understand as what seems to be simple explanation can make a sudden jump.

Book Details

Edition ISBN:  0679433422
Pages to read:   183
Publication:     1998
1st Edition:      1998
Format:            Hardcover

Ratings out of 5:
Readability     4
Content           5
Overall           4