Apparently, the law breaks down when dealing with very small systems. Thus, nanotechnology as we’ve imagined it can’t exist. Neal Stevensen lied to us!
I’ll give it the respectful “cold fusion” cool down period.
Mostly, the law breaks down when the conditions it applies to are not present.
I am not nearly the physics geek I’d like to be, and the article is pretty sparse on details. But it sounds like the ‘closed system’ was first given an electrical charge via a “laser” and then they shook the living daylights out of it at 1khz. That sounds like a pretty poor attempt at a closed system.
Aside from that, entropy doesn’t mean things always and consistently become ‘more random’ or disorganized. It means that as shit collectively happens, the eventual result approaches such chaos. A temporary change away from apparent chaos does not even call that principle into question. And the article even says the decrease in entropy was only observed some of the time.
It’s like questioning the randomness of a lottery because once in a great while the numbers selected seem to follow a pattern.
Tim’s exactly right. Check out item two from this American Physical Society posting:
Yes, it’s bullshit. Crackpots are always claiming that the second law has been overturned. Closer analysis always reveal that the overturning has only occured in their minds.
Sigh Need to read more physics. After reading your explanations, I see the flaws in the report I cited. Oh well. Thanx for the correction.
Marge: I’m worried about the kids, Homey. Lisa’s becoming very obsessive. This morning I caught her trying to dissect her own raincoat.
Homer: I know. And this perpetual-motion machine she made today is a joke! It just keeps going faster and faster.
Marge: And Bart isn’t doing very well either. He needs boundaries and structure. There’s something about flying a kite at night that’s so unwholesome.
[Looks out window]
Bart: [creepily] Hello, mother dear.
Marge: That’s it: we have to get them back to school.
Homer: I’m with you, Marge. Lisa! Get in here.
[Lisa walks in]
Homer: In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!
On that topic, these last seasons of the Simpsons have been written by people who, among other things, really don’t know how to write Lisa.
Lisa not knowing how Joan of Arc died? What-EVER.