k, so I have read mentions that Brandon considers laws of thermodynamics to be his bane. Here I try to describe a generic theory that explains the differences in these laws (from our world), that arise due to unique interactions of three realms.
First, here are the definitions I am going to use for systems:
Our universe (from Wikipedia):
A thermodynamic system is a precisely defined macroscopic region of the universe, often called a physical system, that is studied using the principles of thermodynamics.
Every physical system defines above has related areas in Cognitive and Spiritual realms, and this connection is not necessarily one to one and may change over time. OK, not the best explanation... But for instance, every part of physical space on a Shardworld is connected to the same entity (Shard) in the spiritual realm. As a consequence, a system on the Shardworld can only be considered closed if the energy of the Shard is taken into account. For this theory, the energy of the Shard is considered to be effectively infinite.
So, using the above definitions, let's consider the laws one by one.
The zeroth law of thermodynamics recognizes that if two systems are in thermal equilibrium with a third, they are also in thermal equilibrium with each other, thus supporting the notions of temperature and heat.
This law seems to hold for the physical realm, as long as there is no flow of energy between realms.
The first law of thermodynamics is an expression of the principle of conservation of energy.
The law states that energy can be transformed, i.e. changed from one form to another, but cannot be created or destroyed. It is usually formulated by stating that the change in the internal energy of a system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings.
This law holds for Cosmere. However, as stated above, any system in the Cosmere world is connected to the Shard in some way. So, roughly speaking, the law can be reformulated as follows: Any change in the total energy of a system across three realms that deviates from the energy supplied by the local environment minus the work performed on the environment is supplied/ stored into by the global environment (Shard).
OK, the second Law is the most interesting. Here goes:
The second law of thermodynamics distinguishes between reversible and irreversible physical processes. It tells how this shows the existence of a mathematical quantity called the entropy of a system, and thus it expresses the irreversibility of actual physical processes by the statement that the entropy of an isolated macroscopic system never decreases.
This rule actually does not hold for microscopic systems, and is derived from statistical physics, namely:
The fundamental postulate in statistical mechanics (also known as the equal a priori probability postulate) is the following:
Given an isolated system in equilibrium, it is found with equal probability in each of its accessible microstates.
For our worlds, that seems to be the case. However, if we consider the statement from Elantris:
, to be at least partially based on truth. Then it can be said that the fundamental postulate as it exists in our worlds is a consequence of not having Cognitive presence of shard, and that in Cosmere the postulate is :Given an isolated system in equilibrium, the distribution of the microstates it can be found in depends on the localized intent of the Shard. , where by localized intent I mean interpretation of global Intent (Ruin, Preservation) by current holder for a given place in spacetime. When somebody utilizes the Shard power in some way, they essentially hijack a small part of this intent. This allows the Shard to be, essentially, the entropy sump, recycling the energy indefinitely, but with a bend towards the global Intent.
“Correct,” Galladon said. “Now, a different question. What makes the water want to flow?”
“I wasn't aware that it needed to.”
“It does, and the Dor is its motivation,”
The third law of thermodynamics is a statistical law of nature regarding entropy:
The entropy of a perfect crystal approaches zero as temperature approaches absolute zero.
As a corollary for the changes in second law described above, the definition of entropy is different in Cosmere. If there is only global intent, then zero entropy is the state of the world most aligned to this intent. That is kind of hard to define for crystal. Possibly, for Preservation that would be absolutely unchanging system, for Cultivation always expanding system, etc, but for Honor? Essentially, with mutable intent, the law does not hold, and no system ever reaches or approaches absolute zero entropy. Also, there is more than one physical perfect crystal depending on its spiritual and cognitive components. The law is as follows, then, I guess For any place and/or system in the Cosmere spacetime, there is a minimum level of entropy that is above zero. This limit is not fixed.
Edited by Satsuoni, 24 March 2012 - 04:33 AM.