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Szilard’s Perpetuum Mobile*

Meir Hemmo and Orly Shenker
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 78, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 264-283
DOI: 10.1086/659231
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/659231
Page Count: 20
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Szilard’s Perpetuum Mobile*
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Abstract

In a previous article, we have demonstrated by a general phase space argument that a Maxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics. In this article, we show how this idea can be put to work in the prevalent model of the Demon, namely, a particle-in-a-box, used, for example, by Szilard and Bennett. In the literature, this model is used in order to show that a Demon is incompatible with statistical mechanics, either classical or quantum. However, we show that a detailed phase space analysis of this model illustrates that a Maxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics.

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