U.S. Supreme Court strikes down Second Law of Thermodynamics
Second Law of Thermodynamics Struck Down
The U.S. Supreme Court sent physicists scrambling Tuesday after striking down The Second Law of Thermodynamics, a fundamental edict that’s been on the books since at least 1850. In the stunning rejection, the court released a blistering majority opinion which ruled fundamental concepts entropy and the arrow of time are fictions of “statistical activism”. The court’s language shocked many in its bluntness.
The truth of the second law is … a statistical, not a mathematical, truth, for it depends on the fact that the bodies we deal with consist of millions of molecules… Hence the second law of thermodynamics is continually being violated, and that to a considerable extent, in any sufficiently small group of molecules belonging to a real body.
The verdict left little room for “entropy, as a fundamental concept of physical law”.
"Tyranny of the Asymmetrical"
The court reasoned that without entropy, there exists no “one-way” arrow of time. The opinion declared future thermodynamics law must be free from the “Tyranny of the Asymmetrical”. Physics legal scholars had long asserted the thermodynamics arrow’s asymmetry is an “emergent necessity” to reconcile precedents in quantum mechanics with mathematics law. In a minority opinion, the sole dissenting justice lent support, writing:
Let us draw an arrow arbitrarily. If as we follow the arrow we find more and more of the random element in the state of the world, then the arrow is pointing towards the future; if the random element decreases the arrow points towards the past. That is the only distinction known to physics. This follows at once if our fundamental contention is admitted that the introduction of randomness is the only thing which cannot be undone. I shall use the phrase ‘time’s arrow’ to express this one-way property of time which has no analogue in space.
The majority disagreed. Majority justices deemed the argument “flimsy at best, deceptive at worst”. Thermodynamics creates law not found nor derivable in the constitution of quantum mechanics nor the declaration of general relativity, “fluctuating statutes into existence” from an “ethereal legal vacuum”, wrote the majority opinion. The “Copenhagen interpretation” is “mere speculation, no more credible than attributing Christmas Morning gifts to the ‘Santa Claus’”, the court ruled.
Physicists are scrambling to contain the immediate fallout from the extraordinary ruling. “Without the arrow of time, school children around the country have no way of knowing whether to go to school tomorrow, or yesterday”, said parent Yutsuko Miller. Another was concerned the ruling would lead to extremist positions. Aaliyah Little-Lamb opined on Substack: “Some will argue life no longer begins at birth and ends with death. They will argue life begins wearing diapers, bald, toothless, and helpless in a geriatrics ward for the lucky, with others born of fiery car crashes and worse…, and ends being jammed into a mother’s abdomen and shriveling to nothing. Or maybe just when we reach the abdomen.”
U.S. Armed Forces Physics Advisor Lt. Gen. Phillip Miller expressed concern that U.S. adversaries may already be testing perpetual motion machines. “We know for a fact the British are weaponizing perpetual technologies,” Miller was quoted. “We must increase our perpetual defense funding immediately and close this perpetual weapons gap. Don’t argue with me, I’m from the future. The British are coming.”