be bumped from site B to site A and get stuck there, creating an imbalance in the system. In his experiments, Leigh was able totake a pot of "billions of these devices" from 50:50 equilibrium to a 70:30 imbalance within a few minutes.
Adams and the demon as historical metaphor
HistorianHenry Brooks Adamsin his manuscript
The Rule of Phase Applied to History
attempted to use Maxwell's demon as ahistoricalmetaphor , though he misunderstood and misapplied the original principle.
Adams interpretedhistoryas a processmoving towards "equilibrium", but he sawmilitaristicnations (he feltGermanypre-eminent in this class) as tending to reverse
this process, a Maxwell's Demon of history. Adams made many attempts to respond to the criticism of his formulation from hisscientific colleagues, but the work remained incomplete at Adams' death in 1918. It was only published posthumously.
In popular culture
In literature, Maxwell’s Demon appears inThomas Pynchon'snovels,
The Crying of Lot 49
, and inGeorgeGamow's
. Also, it is mentioned in the novel
bySwissauthor Max Frisch, as well as in one of the
short stories of
byStanisław Lem: "The Sixth Sally, or How Trurl and Klaupacius Created a Demon of the SecondKind to Defeat the Pirate Pugg". In Greg Egan's hard science fiction novel
, Maxwell's Demon is the name of aprogram used by the character Maria to keep track of individual "molecules" in the cellular automaton known as the Autoverse.Finally, Maxwell's Demon appears, and fills his typical role, in the climax of the book
Master of the Five Magics
byLyndonHardy. Maxwell's Demon was also mentioned in Christopher Stasheff's books from the series A Wizard in Rhyme, wherein he let
Maxwell's Demon (Max for short) help out the main character. In Arkady and Boris Strugatsky'sbook
Monday Begins onSaturday
two of Maxwell's demons work as doormen in the Institute for Magic and Thaumaturgy.Christopher Stasheff'sbookHer
Majesty's Wizardcontains a character referred to as Maxwell's Demon that assist the main character throughout the novel.In the way of short stories, an homage to Maxwell has been written byIsaac AsimovandLarry Niven.
Additionally,Larry Niven's Warlock inThe Magic Goes Awayuses such a demon to cool his home in a vignette titled "Unfinished Story #1" aspublished in
Playgrounds of the Mind
(and, earlier, in
All the Myriad Ways
). The Demon also contributes to the thesis of KenKesey'scollection of stories,
The Demon Box
. In the story "A Feast of Demons" by William Morrison (pseudonym for JosephSamachson), a scientist creates Maxwell's Demons to change the temperature of items, the purity of ores, and eventually evenreverse or accelerate the aging process in people—only to have the Demons escape and wreak havoc on civilization. Animplementation of a scientifically plausible nanotech version of Maxwell's demon appears inPaul Di Filippo'sshort story
Any Major Dude
, the use of which gives a country in the story the name "Maxwell's Land" and its inhabitants "demons."In music and film, Maxwell Demon was the name of Brian Eno'sfirst band, which was the inspiration for the name of a fictionalcharacter in the movie
is the name of a 1968 film by the American experimentalfilmmaker Hollis Frampton. Maxwell's Demon is mentioned in the song 'A Metaphysical Drama', by Vintersorg and also is thename of aBrooklyn-based indie rock band, as well as that of aLondon alt-pop band. See also the lyrics to "Isaac's Law" by The
Loud Family.The computer gameMaxwell's ManiaconMicrosoft Entertainment Packis loosely based on Maxwell's Demon.
The theory is also referenced in 2003 video-gameMax Payne 2, in the form of an in-game cartoon show the chief villain of whichis named 'Maxwell's Demon,' a creature said to have been created by 'Doctor Entropy' and with the goal of turning the world intoa 'dreaded closed system'. Also, in the 2007 computer gameNeverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer the player encounters apuzzle in which he controls a trapdoor between two cages containing a mixed population of elemental creatures of fire and ice(mephits, which roughly resemble the classical image of the "demon"), the point of the puzzle being to separate them despitetheir tendency to mingle, in essence putting the player in the role of Maxwell's Demon.Citing Maxwell's Demon, math intellectuals philosophized about the actions of an escaped criminal in the American televisionprogramNumb3rs. The episode, titled "Arrow of Time", was episode 11 of season 5, and originally aired on January 9, 2009.
AMac Hallcomic depicts the character Matt hallucinating a demon named Maxwell who lives in the air conditioner replacing hotair molecules with cool ones. He claims to refute thesecond law of thermodynamics.
James K. Galbraith's"The Predator State: How Conservatives Abandoned the Free Market and Why Liberals Should Too",describes the market as "a disembodied decision maker - a Maxwell's Demon - that, somehow, and without effort, balances andreflects the preferences of everyone participating in economic decisions... It can be these things precisely because it is nothingat all." (Galbraith 19-20) .
UK drum and bass producer John Btitled a song on his Visions album "Maxwell's Demon".
CatalysisDispersionEvaporationGibbs paradoxHall effectJoule-Thomson effectLaplace's demonLaws of thermodynamicsMass spectrometryPhotoelectric effectQuantum tunnellingThermionic emission
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