Perhaps this question is, at first glance, more philosophical than technical, I am wondering about this-- also -- from a methodological perspective.

In thinking about the 2nd law, I am interested in the notion of "experimental condition" and low-entropy "bias".

I am looking for an example of an experimental setup which does -- itself -- not decrease entropy through the work involved in the setup.

For example,

  1. The quintessential "gas released in a corner" requires (at some previous time) the capture of the gas, the work involved in capping etc.
  2. The egg breaking -- an increase in entropy-- was preceded by the huge amounts of work (unknowingly) by the Hen.
  3. The ageing person, whose body increases in entropy (and sags), was gestated for many months and a huge number of calories.

Are there many experiments (other than Wait some Time) that in its construction and set-up does not introduce objects of low-entropy?

Thanks in advance for indulging.

  • $\begingroup$ It's important to be clear wha the bounds of your system are. Local decrease in entropy is entirely possible, but when all the external energy transactions are consisdered the overall entropy has increased. It sounds a bit like you are trying to break the 2nd law? $\endgroup$ – JMLCarter Dec 31 '16 at 6:01
  • $\begingroup$ @JMLCarter Ha, I'm not trying to break ii : no such heresy today. However, as you rightly noted, the "system" at hand must be well defined both in physical scope and time. I am however wondering if the specificity of "procedure" and "experiment", by virtue of requiring setup ( in the past relative to the time at which results are profered) and itself carried out in time, biases our pre-experimental entropy in the "lower" direction relative to the intra-experimental conditions. $\endgroup$ – Bradford Dec 31 '16 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ perhaps in general yes, since most set-ups are designed ordered is put in, but some experiments have been designed to test entropy with great care. $\endgroup$ – JMLCarter Dec 31 '16 at 14:15

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