Monday, July 12, 2010

The Power of Entropy

Fascinating article at the New York Times about a physicist who claims gravity doesn't exist. Ok, that's really just the sensational way to put it in a headline. What he really seems to be saying is that gravity is really entropy dressed up in a particular way, in a sense, that entropy is the fundamental force of which gravity is a manifestation.

The newspaper-article level is about the level at which I can understand this, or understand enough to know I don't understand it. It's not a mathematically rigorous theory, which bugs me. But there's one reason I'm interested. According to my recent reading including RJP Williams, the Second Law of Thermodynamics (entropy!) drives the development of life of earth. If I am intrigued by that idea, I'm also open to the idea that entropy drives gravity as well.

Here's my question: how does "spreading out" bring things together? Isn't gravity "negative entropy"?

Obviously this is still on the level of physics, but when it can be discussed on the level of physical chemistry I could be very interested. I may start poking around the literature on this.

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