Max Mathews - The Second Law
  Year :   1961
  Location :   USA
  Worktype :   Composition
  Materials:   -
  Info :   -

  Work Details  
  The second law of thermodynamics (the law of entropy) was formulated in the middle of the nineteenth century following observations that, like the fall or flow of a stream that turns a mill wheel, it is the fall or flow of heat from higher to lower temperatures that motivates a steam engine. One way the law can be stated is: Energy spontaneously tends to flow only from being concentrated in one place to becoming diffused and spread out. Whenever an energy distribution is out of equilibrium a potential or thermodynamic force exists that the world acts spontaneously to dissipate or minimize. Entropy is the measure of diffusion or disorder, so the second law states that in all natural processes, the entropy of the world always increases. The second law has inspired many entropic visions in the last century, which is not too surprisingó two devastating world wars, the invention of nuclear warfare. W.B. Yeats states the law when he writes things fall apart in his poem about the dawning of the first of the world wars, The Second Coming. When referring to information theory, the notion of entropy is related to the noisiness of a system. Mathews doesn t dwell on the apocalyptic implications of the the law of entropy, but instead plays with noise in his The Second Law. About it J.R. Pierce writes: This composition makes extensive use of random noise. The noise is used with a variety of bandwidths (the frequency limits of a given sound pattern) to achieve effects ranging from noise of definite pitch to pitchless noise. Contrasted against the noise is a tone with vibrato. ója from F. L. Lambert . Accessed 15.11.06 from