Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Physical Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Quantum Nonunitarity

Version 1 : Received: 24 January 2017 / Approved: 25 January 2017 / Online: 25 January 2017 (03:27:07 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Kastner, R.E. On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy 2017, 19, 106. Kastner, R.E. On Quantum Collapse as a Basis for the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy 2017, 19, 106.

Journal reference: Entropy 2017, 19, 106
DOI: 10.3390/e19030106

Abstract

It is argued that if the non-unitary measurement transition, as codified by Von Neumann, is a real physical process, then the ‘probability assumption’ needed to derive the Second Law of Thermodynamics naturally enters at that point. The existence of a real, indeterministic physical process underlying the measurement transition would therefore provide an ontological basis for Boltzmann’s Stosszahlansatz and thereby explain the unidirectional increase of entropy against a backdrop of otherwise time-reversible laws. It is noted that the Transactional Interpretation (TI) of quantum mechanics provides such a physical account of the non-unitary measurement transition, and TI is brought to bear in finding a physically complete, non-ad hoc grounding for the Second Law.

Subject Areas

Second Law of Thermodynamics; irreversibility; entropy; H-Theorem; transactional interpretation; wave function collapse

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