Bob Fernley-Jones asks an important question needing wide discussion.
First, let’s quickly review the basics of the existing four or so laws.
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- Zeroth Law: According to Arnold Sommerfeld, Ralph H. Fowler invented the title ‘the zeroth law of thermodynamics’ when he was discussing the 1935 text of Saha and Srivastava. They write on page 1 that “every physical quantity must be measurable in numerical terms”. They presume that temperature is a physical quantity and then deduce the statement “If a body A is in temperature equilibrium with two bodies B and C, then B and C themselves will be in temperature equilibrium with each other”… [Source Wikipedia]
- Law 1: The first law of thermodynamics is a version of the law of conservation of energy, adapted for thermodynamic systems. The law of conservation of energy states that the total energy of an isolated system is constant; energy can be transformed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed… [Source Wikipedia]
- Law 2: …The German scientist Rudolf Clausius laid the foundation for the second law of thermodynamics in 1850 by examining the relation between heat transfer and work. His formulation of the second law, which was published in German in 1854, is known as the Clausius statement: Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time. [Or] Heat cannot spontaneously flow from cold regions to hot regions without external work being performed on the system… [Source Wikipedia]
This is the form of law 2 that has been well defined by the humorous fun of Flanders and Swann (1963) , but ordinary folks should be alerted that despite the truth of the above, there have been “definition refinements” that maybe could be renumbered to Law 2.1:
- Law 2 Updated: The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy… [And much more: source Wikipedia]