Jim Al-Khalili - Arthur Eddington - Peter Atkins - Brian Cox TV - Jacob Bronowski TV - Robert Hewison - Anton Chekhov - Rudolf Arnheim - Lord Byron - Vaclav Havel - Freeman Dyson - Erwin Schrodinger - Stephen Hawking - Morgan Freeman TV - Christopher Hitchens - The Entire History of the Universe 2021 -
How did humans acquire the power to transform the planet like this? Looking at the Earth at night reveals to us just how successful we’ve been in harnessing and manipulating energy, and how important it is to our existence. Energy is vital to us all. We use it to build the structures that surround and protect us. Order and Disorder With Jim Al-Khalili I: Energy, BBC 2012
Energy is essential to life itself. ibid.
What exactly is energy? And what makes it so useful to us? ibid.
Scientists would come up with a strange set of laws that would link together everything from engines to humans to stars. ibid.
Almost no-one had understood the fundamental nature of the steam-engine; very few were aware of the cosmic principle that underpinned it. ibid.
Left alone energy always seems to go from being concentrated to being dispersed. ibid.
The second law of thermodynamics and it turned out to be stranger and more beautiful, more universal ... All things that gave off heat were in some way connected together. All things that gave off heat were part of an irreversible process that was happening everywhere. A process of spreading out and dispersing, a process of increasing entropy. It seemed that somehow the universe shared the same fate as a cup of tea. ibid.
Entropy – why was it always increasing? ibid.
Entropy was in fact a measure of the disorder of things. ibid.
The universe itself must one day die. ibid.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. ibid.
The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell’s equations – then so much the worse for Maxwell’s equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation – well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation. Arthur Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World, 1928
Everything disperses. Collapse into disorder is the spring of the universe. Professor Peter Atkins, Oxford University, Horizon: What is One Degree? BBC 2011
The energy itself becomes less and less useful – it becomes ever more disordered. Professor Brian Cox, Wonders of Life I: What is Life? BBC 2013
This descent into disorder is happening across the entire universe. ibid.
Entropy always increases. Why is that? Because it’s overwhelmingly more likely that it will. Brian Cox’s Adventures in Space & Time IV, BBC 2021
The second law of thermodynamics ... Entropy ... Entropy always increases because it is always more likely. Professor Brian Cox, Wonders of the Universe 1/4: Destiny, BBC 2011
Entropy is a measure of disorder. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 10/13: World Within World, BBC 1973
The turn of the century raises expectations. The end of the millennium promises apocalypse and revelation. But at the close of the twentieth century the golden age seems behind us, not ahead. The end game of the 1990s promises neither Nirvana nor Armageddon, but entropy. Robert Hewison, Future Tense, 1990
Only entropy comes easy. Anton Chekhov
Entropy theory is indeed a first attempt to deal with global form; but it has not been dealing with structure. All it says is that a large sum of elements may have properties not found in a smaller sample of them. Rudolf Arnheim, In Entropy and Art: An Essay on Disorder and Order, 1974
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish’d, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came, and went – and came, and brought no day. Lord Byron, Darkness
Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy. Václav Havel
The total disorder in the universe, as measured by the quantity that physicists call entropy, increases steadily as we go from past to future. On the other hand, the total order in the universe, as measured by the complexity and permanence of organized structures, also increases steadily as we go from past to future. Freeman Dyson
Thus the device by which an organism maintains itself stationary at a fairly high level of orderliness (= fairly low level of entropy) really consists in continually sucking orderliness from its environment. Erwin Schrödinger, What is Life?
The second law of thermodynamics: it states that the entropy of an isolated system always increases, and that when two systems are joined together, the entropy of the combined system is greater than the sum of the entropies of the individual systems. Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time p112
The increase of disorder or entropy with time is one example of what is called the arrow of time, something that distinguishes the past from the future, giving a direction to time. ibid. p161
The end of life: it’s a reality that terrifies us and motivates us. Now cutting edge science embarks on a bold mission to extend human life … Will death remain inevitable or can we live for ever? Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole s2e9, Can We Live For Ever? Science 2011
Anything and everything in the universe has the tendency to go from order to disorder … Nothing is immune to the power of entropy. ibid.
Death is our ultimate destination: a place from which no-one ever returns. But what if death wasn’t the end? Morgan Freeman’s Through the Wormhole s3e6, Can We Resurrect the Dead? Science 2012
What if we could grow the dead back to life? ... Can we cultivate a garden of resurrected humans? ibid.
It’s good to know we’re born into a losing struggle ... Everything is governed by entropy and decline and annihilation and disaster. Christopher Hitchens v Rabbi David Wolpe, debate Boston 2010
What then is time if not the inevitable march of disorder, the inevitable destruction of God’s structured universe into nothing more than an eternal pile of sand? The Entire History of the Universe e3: Why Did Time Start Going Forward?