Quantum Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics

The second law of thermodynamics is undoubtedly one of the most known statements of physics. Arthur Eddington wrote in 1948 (A.S. Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, Macmillan, New York, 1948, p. 74): «The second law of thermodynamics holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations - then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation, well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but collapse in deepest humiliation.» Nevertheless some scientists challenge the second law from time to time, with an essential benefit for science in any cases. The most known challenge - the Maxwell's demon, proposed in 1867, is continued to discuss already during more than century with the benefit not only for physics. The incarnations of the Maxwell demon have given and give new knowledge into many disciplines, in particular the information theory. The other enough well known challenge is the ratchet/pawl combination considered first by Richard Feynmann.

The absolute status of the second law and new challenges to it emerging in few last years will be discussed at the First International Conference on Quantum Limits to the Second Law which will be held at the University of San Diego San Diego, CA; July 29-31, 2002 http://www.sandiego.edu/secondlaw2002. We open this website since few people only can reach to San Diego and since three days is too short space of time in order to discuss such problem as the absolute status of the second law. The website allows everyone to get to know with new challenges to the second law, criticism of these challenges and to submit their own works with comments, criticism and others concerning the absolute status of the second law and adjoining problems. The submitted papers should be preferably in TeX or LaTeX but can be in PDF or PostScript formats.

Chernogolovka, IMT RAS