Fighting the second law of thermodynamics

T-13 days

An understanding of physics, I always maintain, is a useful foundation for living.  It helps to understand why launching a product can feel like an uphill struggle.  The reason is that the entropy always increases.  Put another way, the natural order of things is to descend into ever greater degrees of chaos.  If you want to replace chaos with order, it takes a great deal of energy.  There’s no point fighting that – its just the way the universe works.

This helps to explain why my email inbox has quadrupled during launch and why getting anything done seems to take unbelievable amounts of energy.  The reason is that we are vastly reducing the entropy of the universe by launching what is the most incredibly integrated and ordered set of products in a decade so naturally, it takes a lot of energy.

We are doing very well though with everything coming together.  I know a lot of people are wanting the code now to play with – trial should be available for download soon.  In the meantime, it is available on MSDN now if you are a subscriber.  SharePoint Server 2007 is available for trial to everyone though here:

Links to download the RTW versions:

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 x86 English Evaluation 

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

I am back in the UK today after IT forum.  Here are some of the heros of IT forum who I caught up with while I was there.  These people know more about fighting ever increasing entropy than anyone.

Andrew Le-Grande-Fromage CheesmanMark White

Andrew Cheeseman (looking slightly wierder than in real life it has to be said, above left) heads up the team that builds the infrastructure at the events like teched it forum.  An absolutely incredible achievement all running vista and office and a wireless network.  Mark White had the tricky job of owning all the content for the tracks.  These guys are legends and officially the nicest blokes you could ever meet!

Comments (5)

  1. entropiax says:

    New theory bypass second law  in Hungary (not publicated yet

    Dear  webmaster!

    I would like to give you some information.

    There is a very interesting information on the internet, in Hungary.

    Guys – I would not like tell you their name – created a web site for

    yourself to  summarize information, and somebody publicate it some


    This theory increases the efficiency of thermally regenerated cells

    (example HUTEC,  GE patent,  ordered by NASA for satellite power)

    The thermally regenerated cell use lithiumhidride and that guys

    suggested the way to reducate it with potassium.

    Because  LiH regenerated to Li and H on 1176 Kelvin, and the cell work

    on 961 Kelvin.  In the original patent lose lot of energy with cooling.

    They can regenerate it with potassium on 961 Kelvin, without cooling.

    If 1 m3 lithiumhidride conversion produces 1.5 GJ energy on this way,

    and the efficiency looks like 80-90 percent industrie size.

    So 1m3 LiH conversion per second  can produce like a nuclear power!

    With the potassium can cool the reactor directly.

    The website URL   without www

    Sorry I would not like to give my name, because there is a small

    scandal here, because this theory bypass the second law of


    I think this is the reason the guys don’t publicate it yet.

    There is an other aspect of it.  This high efficiency energy converson

    give possibility accelerator driven nuclear reactor, may be this is new

    age of nuclear energy.

    Other way there is some risk, because accelerator drive reactor can

    produce uran transmutation to plutonium without uran enrichment.

    Without high efficiency energy conversion it is not possible, because

    needed lot of energy.

    Some scientist afraid Hungarian Army will say that is goverment secret,

    because check every two months all new patents in Hungary.  They

    pass this patent to Hungarian Patent Office in oktober.

    May be it is better the pirate state (North-Korea, Iran) don’t get this

    technology, and US goverment gets controll above the accelerator

    driven technologie, and US get advantage in this area against China,

    India, Russia.

    Because cheap energy is big economics advantage

  2. Pentcho Valev says:

    Consider the logical conversion of the assumption A into the important conclusion B: in 1865 Clausius converted the assumption "Any irreversible process can be closed by a reversible process to become a cycle" into the conclusion "THE ENTROPY ALWAYS INCREASES". In the era of Postscientism a strict rule says:

    Whether the assumption A is true or false is immaterial, even if the falsehood is obvious. Unless a more profitable theory is offered the current theory involving the inference A->B should be praised and obeyed.

    So the assumption "Any irreversible process can be closed by a reversible process to become a cycle" is obviously false but the rule is so strict that, after 140 years of scrutiny, references to the falsehood amount to a single hint: p.39:

    "A more important objection, it seems to me, is that Clausius bases his conclusion that the entropy increases in a nicht umkehrbar [irreversible] process on the assumption that such a process can be closed by an umkehrbar [reversible] process to become a cycle. This is essential for the definition of the entropy difference between the initial and final states. But the assumption is far from obvious for a system more complex than an ideal gas, or for states far from equilibrium, or for processes other than the simple exchange of heat and work. Thus, the generalisation to ‘all transformations occurring in Nature’ is somewhat rash."

    Pentcho Valev

  3. entorpiax says:

    Sorry my english is not good.

    The thermally regenerated cells exist.

    One example:  LiH ->  Li  + 1/2 H2 on 850-900 Celsius.

    The Li|LiH|H2  is a cell, it can produce electricity on 688 Celsius.

    We have to cool it back, this is the reason not high efficieny.

    If you can regenerate a cell with thermal energy on the same temperature the cell can work, you need not cooling, you can convert heat energy to eletricity 100 percent.

    It is not possible theoretically.

    But you can regenerate LiH with potassium, because  KH is not stable on the same temperature.

    KH  =  K + 1/2 H2 on 200 Celsius!

    So if you regenerate exhausted LiH cell thermal energy an potassium, and separate potassiun  (there is no alloy of potassium and lithium) you need not cooling, you can convert heat energy to electricity with high efficiency.

  4. entropiax says:

    Unfortunately I have no more information about this, just I have got an URL an it is hungarian.

    As I know the guys afraid to publication and they created a Hungarian Patent similar to GE  US Patent, HYTEC.

  5. dstrange says:

    Goodness, what a useful thing a physics degree is but it just goes to show that the perenial educational cliche of "everything we taught you last year was basically an oversimplified view you should discard"  continues even after degree level.  I must come clean though, thermodynamics was never my best subject as my erudite and amusingly named tutor at Oxford, Dr Jelley would attest to.  Maybe I should send this thread to him for some comment..