Back to School

It’s the beginning of another another academic year. In addition to teaching online courses, I am once again teaching Thermodynamics at Anderson University. I love teaching thermodynamics, because it is a difficult subject, but it explains so much about creation. Unfortunately, many scientists and even some engineers (like Bill Nye) don’t understand it. I hope that my students walk away with a solid grasp of the subject.

Of course, teaching at the university on top of my online courses will make me a lot busier than I should be, so I am not sure how much time I will have for blogging. I will try to write at least once a week, but we will see how that goes. For now, I hope that you enjoy this video, which is the demonstration I did for the first day of class. A variation of the first part of the demo (the aluminum foil heat engine) is in the last book of my elementary science series, Science in the Industrial Age. Students make the engine when they learn about Sadi Carnot, the father of thermodynamics.

8 Comments

  1. Victor Ferreira da Silva says:

    Hope you do teach well, and have fun with your students! Now, about thermodynamics, I recently found an article(sadly, it’s just in Portuguese), at Wikipedia which seen to contradict creationists in the topic of second law of thermodynamics. What’s our opinion on this article?(perhaps you will take a long time to answer, but will wait anyway)

    https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segunda_lei_da_termodin%C3%A2mica#A_segunda_lei_da_termodin%C3%A2mica_e_o_criacionismo

    God Enlighten you!

    1. Jay Wile says:

      As near as I can tell from the Google translation, the article is correct. The Second Law of Thermodynamics does not forbid evolution. I wrote about that here and here.

  2. John D. says:

    Pretty cool… now explain Crookes radiometer!

    1. Jay Wile says:

      That’s a bit more complicated, but it is also a heat engine. The darker sides of the diamonds absorb more light than the silver sides, so the darker side is warmer. That makes the gas on the darker side warmer than the gas on the silver side. At the edges of the triangles, the motion of the atoms in the metal forces the cooler air to move towards the warmer air (this only works at the edges, but it’s enough). That increases the pressure on the warmer side, causing a net force that is directed from the warm side to the cold side.

      Interestingly enough, it took a few years to get to the answer. Crookes thought the light was exerting pressure, but that doesn’t work, because the next year, it was shown that the radiometer doesn’t spin in a good vacuum. It only spins in a partial vacuum. Three years later, Osborne Reynolds came up with the answer above. He showed that gas moves from the cooler side of a porous metal to the warmer side of a porous metal. This was called a “Reynold’s plate.” It was then shown that the edges of the diamonds on the Crookes radiometer act like the pores in a Reynold’s plate.

      1. John D. says:

        That’s pretty awesome. I always loved those things as a kid. Thanks for the great explanation.

  3. Victor Ferreira da Silva says:

    Still on second law of thermodynamics, I found 2 papers:

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/pe/pe/2017/00000030/00000001/art00010;jsessionid=4hrv4u9rp6gg6.x-ic-live-01

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11191-017-9873-7 (This one seens to be an answer to the above paper, and other papers against thermodynamical arguments against evolution)

    God Enlighten you all!

    1. Jay Wile says:

      The first paper is by Granville Sewell, and he doesn’t understand what compensation means. He seems to think that the compensation argument can apply to two completely different processes: one that decreases entropy and one that increases entropy. It cannot. The Second Law tells us that the entropy of the universe must stay the same or increase for each individual process. The articles I linked to you demonstrate that he is completely wrong. In addition, his argument that thermal entropy doesn’t apply to information is wrong. We know that information and thermal entropy are connected. I cannot read the full version of the second article you linked, but based on the abstract, it is making correct statements.

      1. Victor Ferreira da Silva says:

        Thanks for your answer, Dr. Jay! I came across the first paper through this post. and the other one I found that the first was cited in another paper(the second). Generally, I respect Evolution News(and other sites, and authors which I like), but this doesn’t mean they are 100% correct at all times!

        Thank you for be honest with me!

        God Enlighten you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: