MadSci Network: Physics

Subject: How does kinetic energy changing directly to heat violate 2ndLaw?

Date: Wed Jun 4 13:08:05 2003
Posted by Fran
Grade level: teacher/prof School: No school entered.
City: No city entered. State/Province: PA Country: USA
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1054750085.Ph

I am struggling with the second law of thermodynamics, and its application.  I 
understand that there are many ways to convert energy from one form to another 
which do not violate the first law of thermodynamics but which do violate the 
second law.  
I imagined a projectile in a vacuum, moving at high velocity.  It would have a 
large kinetic energy, all "concentrated" in the projectile.  All that kinetic 
energy could be converted into heat.  Obviously this would happen in the case 
of a collision, or if the projectile entered an atmosphere of some sort.  But 
why can it NOT happen spontaneously?  Where in the second law is there a 
requirement of "agency" to cause an energy conversion?
Thank you.

Re: How does kinetic energy changing directly to heat violate 2ndLaw?

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