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Entropy 2014, 16(8), 4420-4442; doi:10.3390/e16084420

Historical and Physical Account on Entropy and Perspectives on the Second Law of Thermodynamics for Astrophysical and Cosmological Systems

Centro de Engenharia, Modelagem e Ciências Sociais Aplicadas, Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, SP CEP 09210-580, Brazil
Received: 23 April 2014 / Revised: 27 July 2014 / Accepted: 30 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
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Abstract

We performed an in depth analysis of the subjects of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics and how they are treated in astrophysical systems. These subjects are retraced historically from the early works on thermodynamics to the modern statistical mechanical approach and analyzed in view of specific practices within the field of astrophysics. As often happens in discussions regarding cosmology, the implications of this analysis range from physics to philosophy of science. We argue that the difficult question regarding entropy and the second law in the scope of cosmology is a consequence of the dominating paradigm. We further demonstrate this point by assuming an alternative paradigm, not related to thermodynamics of horizons, and successfully describing entropic behavior of astrophysical systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: second law of thermodynamics; gravity; entropy; paradigm; scientific realism second law of thermodynamics; gravity; entropy; paradigm; scientific realism
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Schoenmaker, J. Historical and Physical Account on Entropy and Perspectives on the Second Law of Thermodynamics for Astrophysical and Cosmological Systems. Entropy 2014, 16, 4420-4442.

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