… we obey the laws of thermodynamics.
Well, not exactly obey. The laws of men are yours and mine to keep or break but thermodynamics is a law of a different colour. Now how do I know that? I am a perverse soul. I couldn’t stick thermodynamics at university The (aptly titled)…
…. equations and all that malarkey. But stat mech! Now that was fun! And really deep. Stat mech is essentially mathematics rather than empirical stuff and it is how you link from knowing how atoms work to knowing how real stuff you have in your home or car works. From stuff you can’t even draw (due to the wavelength of light etc.) to stuff you can trip over and wrongly blame the poor little cat over. Now that’s interesting! And it is basically analytical rather than synthetic truth. So it is true for any value of true. What happens at either end (atoms or cats in boxes, whatever!) is essentially empirically based but the bridge between them is pure logic. It is ergodic theory and that is beautiful because it is about probability rather than using probability. What that means is the certainty that a fair die has a 1/6 of turning-up 6 by definition. Yes it might seem odd but stat mech is in a sense the surest off all sciences because “all” it does is call the odds on the basis of pure logic (an at an emnpirical level it starts with numbers of the order of e1023 for a warm cup of tea. Yes, the deductions you can make from it about a bar of lead might be wrong but not due to stat mech. If you are wrong you need look at your understanding of the physics and chemistry of heavy metals at the atomic scale.
In case you are wondering I just this minute figured a neat distinction between physical and mathematical truth. Physical truth is what happens in our universe. Mathematical truth is what happens in any conceivable universe. Even 2+2=4 is the case by definition in the custardverse where the Vanilla Peoples worship the Great Flan of Creation. But that is nonsense because all true souls worship the One True Triffle of Reality, obviously.
This is the crowning glory of stat mech. This is the partition function of Josiah Willard Gibb’s Grand Cannonical Ensemble (and if such a baroque term doesn’t raise at least a smile then you have the soul-vacuum of a student of the Farts and indeed the Shiterature – a clue to you chums, nobody gives a flying one about what Ezra Pound thought about anything).
This is it in Q Mech terms…
The index i refers to the eigenstates of the stuff. Z is the fugacity (related to the chemical potential), N, V & T are number of particles, volume and temperature and kb is the Boltzmann constant. Clearly (I am writing now like a textbook – and loving it – I may be tempted to use the dread phrase, “After some elementary algebra…” – it is related to the only mathematical definition I know of entropy.
The same “k”, only without the “b” this time. “W” (also rendered as Ω). “W” is the “ways”. The number of ways to arrange the participants in a system so the whole has the same internal energy as defined by T. I prefer using Ω because I like to put the coco in rococo (if my vegan missus and possibly the law would allow it I would hang a stuffed crocodile from the ceiling of my shed*) and Greek always adds to the spice. Ludwig Boltzmann hanged himself and has that equation as his epitaph. Without getting emo over it that is cool.
So imagine my suprise when I recently saw in a shop in Keswick this…
Look more closely…
And it’s called “Techno-balls”. The case for the prosecution rests, M’lud.
Something for nothing. Let’s have a riot. Oh shit! It’s been done. It’s less groovy than Cliff Richard.
*Because stuff they used to think of as magic is real so we who can might as well get jiggy with dat. The alternative is to be the Prince of Wails and claim reality is magic rather than the other way around. Rather a Frankenstein than a Wankenstein says me! Rather a meddler with nature than a pedlar of crap. Science is doing magic for real! Something utterly beyond the Kenneth of Prince Chuckles and his over-priced pre-packed chutney. The utterly onanistic shite wallopper he really is.