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What is the Second Law of Thermodynamics?

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What is entropy? Why is it always increasing? And what does that even mean? Dr Valeska Ting explains the second law of thermodynamics.

This is the day 12 of our 2016 advent calendar on thermodynamics. Watch all the films here:

Valeska walks us from a simple mathematical demonstration, through coffee and refrigerators, and right up to the end of the Universe and everything in it.

The second law of thermodynamics states that entropy, which is often thought of as simple ‘disorder’, will always increase within a closed system. Ultimately, this is one of the key elements dictating an arrow of time in the Universe. And how is it possible that complex ordered organisms and structures have developed, if everything should be becoming less ordered over time? Valeska explains.

The 2016 advent calendar explores the four laws of thermodynamics with a new short film each day, with explosive demonstrations, unique animations, and even a musical number. Open the calendar at

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