The Increase of Entropy: A Critical Discussion

  • Wilhelm Brenig


The irreversibility of processes, expressed mathematically by the positivity of kinetic coefficients and the corresponding increase of entropy in time, is a fundamental fact of our world. Life as we know it, starting with birth and ending with death, would be unthinkable without irreversibility. Measurements, the collection of data, “common experience” generally speaking would be impossible without it. The asymmetry of time is so obvious to us that it is hard to consider it in a detached way.


Time Reversal Information Entropy External Perturbation Recurrence Time Thermodynamic Entropy 
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  1. 17.1
    Brenig, W.: Statistische Theorie der Wärme I. Gleichgewicht, 2nd ed. ( Spinger, Berlin, Heidelberg 1983 )Google Scholar
  2. 17.2
    Becker, R.: Theorie der Wärme, Heidelberger Taschenbücher, Vol. 10 (Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg 1955) Chap. 32dGoogle Scholar

Additional Reading

  1. Boltzmann, L.: Wien. Ber. 66, 275 (1872)Google Scholar
  2. Boltzmann, L.: Wien. Ber. 75, 62 (1877)Google Scholar
  3. Boltzmann, L.: Wiedemann Ann. 57, 773 (1896)Google Scholar
  4. Davies, P.C.W.: The Physics of Time Asymmetry (University of California Press, Berkeley, CA 1974 )Google Scholar
  5. Loschmidt, J.: Wien. Ber. 73, 135 (1876)Google Scholar
  6. Zermélo, E.: Wiedemann Ann. 57, 485 (1896)Google Scholar
  7. Zermélo, E.: Wiedemann Ann. 59, 793 (1896)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilhelm Brenig
    • 1
  1. 1.Physik-DepartmentTechnische Universität MünchenGarchingFed. Rep. of Germany

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