the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Dogs, Puppies and True Skepticism

Posted by Jeff Id on April 10, 2012

I reluctantly bring up this topic. I’m tired of moderating the blog, even though it has no new posts for a record number of days.

Several other popular climate bloggers and even some climate scientists have made the point that those who don’t understand the second law of thermodynamics are somehow “damaging to the ’cause’ of skepticism”. This whole line of argument smacks of motive to me, and motive is the antithesis of scientific skepticism. Why readers of those blogs quietly put up with that, is beyond me.

Therefore, by nature, I must reject the argument.

My rejection is not due to the fact that the flat stupidity of the second law argument doesn’t have a deleterious affect on public impression of those of us labeled in international media as skeptics or deniers, but rather because anyone who understands anything about physics can spot the crack-pottery of those individuals who reject thermodynamics. Our public disagreement of the magnitude, danger and response to anthropogenic global warming is between those who understand physics and math, and nobody else. On both sides, professional scientists know the difference between the dogs and the puppies and the puppies are yapping too much.

These pretenders who have stepped in with this nonsense about back radiation being a violation of the second law, are just people who know some words and have motives. Not an equation to their credit, yet thermodynamics is overturned.

Claiming to overturn human understanding without equations, is different from the bystanders of the population which don’t have the background to understand thermodynamic reality.

If AGW is as severe as the IPCC repeately states, I am completely certain that most readers here want to know the truth. Then the discussion could shift to proper responses. Right now, nothing, and I mean really NOTHING, indicates that AGW is anything but moderate or even beneficial. Readers are welcome to disagree with that as well. For those extremist environmental types who believe everything humans do is automatic poison, beware, there is a middle ground. Change is not always bad, although in the US we know now that change we can believe in, is pretty clearly bad.

I am literally pissed off that this blog has been shut down by a person/people with a motivation. Even if they believe their nonsense, that is nothing but a lack of self-realization of their own crack-pottery. If they had a lick of courtesy, they would allow us to continue discussing actual science freely and agree to take their useless nonsense elsewhere rather than spam a science blog for months.

In case you one of those who reads about the non-existence of back-radiation and are wondering which is right, basic thermodynamics is not in question anywhere in science. Not one bit. The absoluteness of this statement does NOT contradict proper skepticism.

Some things are known.

For instance, we can all agree, by definition, in an Earthly frame of reference, down is down and up is up.

Were that not correct, the words down and up would have different meaning.

I’m tired, the second law backradiation bullshit needs to go away until a proper mathematical foundation supports it. Those who claim it is ‘damaging’ to the cause, need to consider how similar their proclamations sound to the proprietors of Real Climate and climategate. The scientific discussion is not with the public, although that is a good place to make points, the scientific discussion is with scientists, of all fields.

And on that front, true skepticism is unquestionably taking a firm foothold.

146 Responses to “Dogs, Puppies and True Skepticism”

  1. stevefitzpatrick said

    Maybe you can switch to self hosting; I think Lucia can help… she has managed to block the insane. It is really only a few derranged individuals that keep you moderating; block them and you don’t have have to waste time moderating.

    In any case, permitting the nutcakes to comment endlessly with their ravings serves no good purpose; I understand your frustration (I think), but there is no solution but to not allow the unhinged to comment. The insane (by definition) do not respond to logic or reason… you need an alternative to moderation..

  2. Ralph B said

    All I can say is that I look fwd to more sea ice stuff. Got hooked back when some commenter named jeez was cheering on the baby ice. A true scientist is always a skeptic…always

    • I’m working on it. I’ve got new code, part of which you saw in a previous thread. I’ve downloaded and masked the Antarctic but need to do the plots such that the masking isn’t arbitrary. We don’t want Tamino’s crowd accusing us of unscientific behavior.

      The problem is that the business keeps getting harder to keep up with.

  3. Pete Ridley said

    Everyone knows radiation in a microwave oven transfers heat to the food. The SLoT can be violated because how can the food know that the LW radiation is cooler than itself. Molecules don’t have brains. This sounds like science fiction from one of Dougy’s friends sprouting his “crack pottery”



  4. amabo said

    Of course the laws of thermodywhatsits are wrong. A logical examination of the universe reveals that there are but two constants; Time-cubes and frog pirates. And the second law is neither of these.

    • corev said

      I’m not too sure that the 2nd law has a foot in each camp. Time tubes and frog pirates can be calculated, Y’ano! 🙂

      • M Simon said

        The correct response is Turbo Encabulation

        It destroys all arguments.

        • corev said

          BUT, BUt, But, but it doesn’t even mention the 2nd lae, frog pirates nor time tubes while mentioniing many, many technically true terms. The technician solving the gas burp and head cold problems of the device are fascinating.

          It’s gotta be superior scienece close to climatology, but not actually superior!

  5. Pete Ridley said

    Yes, probably one of the two new “well known” professors Dougy says have just joined Principia Scientific International. Good company for his friends Prof Claes Johnson and Prof Nasif Nahle and “over 40 others” (according to Dougy who has joined and got his paper “published” there. They all are saying the same as Dougy it seems. I noticed they keep talking about how the Second Law of Thermodynamics would be violated if heat went from the cold atmosphere to the warm surface, but everyone knows more energy comes back out of the surface by conduction, convection and latent heat than goes in by radiation, so the SLoT isn’t violated because energy is conserved.

    Yes, I reckon it was one of them because they also talk about warm gases not absorbing cool radiation in the spectroscope, but the spectroscope itself is cooler, so the SLoT isn’t violated. And they also claim microwave ovens have LW radiation that doesn’t get absorbed by some things, but that’s just because absorptivity = emissivity and black metal plates in the oven can’t emit because of all the other radiation. It’s all proved by S-B.



  6. Jeff, if you want to see equations behind the second
    law, read my work on computational thermodynamics
    and blackbody radiation. Before you dismiss it.

    Claes Johnson

    • Jeff Condon said

      I’ve read it.

    • steveta_uk said

      Claes has a good idea here, Jeff – read the work, then as suggested, dismiss it.

      • steveta_uk said

        Oh dear – I just made the mistake of reading some of Claes’s wisdom, including this:

        An alarmist may argue that the absorptivity of a gas may increase with concentration, but then the catch is that it then follows that it may decrease to zero as the concentration decreases to zero and thus may be vanishingly small for a trace gas and thus give CO2 zero effect.

        How do you clean such things from your brain having read them?

    • Jeff Condon said

      I should say I have read it but also read the endless distortions by Doug Cotton of it. I’m exhausted by the silliness of the idiots out selling the second law nonsnese on your behalf but at least you use equations. They are mis-explaining your points. Perhaps if you spent time explaining to the slow witted why they are slow witted, we wouldn’t be so tired of hearing it.

      If you like I will read it again but you need to provide a link for your best work.

  7. diogenes said

    Ideally, there should be a blog where Doug Cotton, DC, D O U G C O T T O N , Pete Ridley and co can go to chatter aimlessly to each other. It should hav e padded walls so they do not hurt each other. And it would also be useful if the people were not equipped with computers, smartphones or other devices to inconvenience the rest of the world.

  8. Here are the main links to the 2nd law in its different forms:

    Click to access ambsblack.pdf

    Click to access ambsthermo.pdf

    Good luck! Claes

    • Claes,

      This is a fairly large pile of words. Is there some section in these 500ish pages which is where the point is made or am I required to reread all of physics? i.e.’classical thermodynamics’.

      The reason I ask is because I already know thermodynamics and am looking for an explanation of this new replacement theory.

      • Well, if you want to comment on my work, I think it is fair to ask you to read. If you already know
        thermodynamics you should be able to get the main ideas by browsing the two books I listed.
        If you don’t want to read books, my Slayer book articles give a short cut. I have also commented extensively on my blogs. Hope some of this can be of help if you want to evaluate my work.


        • I already have several questions and I cannot devote enough time to read 500 pages. You comment that a thermal imager measures frequency, yet a bolometer measures temperature.

          Can you quickly explain how a bolometer can measure as surface cooler than itself. This may seem simple, but it would help clarify alot. Others were useless for that.

          • You can design many instruments which record temperature difference, by warming up or cooling off depending on the temperature of the source vs the temperature of the the recording device. You can use your own body as such an instrument if you like: If you get warm the source is warmer than you and if you get cold the source is colder than you. Try it.


          • You only need to read if you feel a need to comment on my work.


          • I am an engineer and fully understand that and have actually used that example many times. Temperatures are shifted as the difference in area under the s-b curve.

            You stated something about cameras measuring frequency not temperature, wheras this camer measures temperature. I wonder how that example exists in the context of your theory where a cold body – the source, can affect the temperature of the warm body. Standard physics indicates that a rarification of energy transfer results in the cooling of the sensor. Energy is still transfered cold to warm, yet the net flow is always from warm to cold.

          • In the version of the 2nd law I give it is impossible for a cold body to transfer energy to a warmer body by radiation, as impossible as for conduction. Why do want to live in a world where this is possible?

          • In my world it doesn’t matter what we want, physics is physics. What you have said goes in violation of everything that physics states for both convection and conduction. On a macro scale, cold to hot work cannot be done, however cold to hot energy transfer on a quantum scale is a well known effect.

            I wonder, in your world, how a bolometer reacts to a cooler object at all if there is no bi-directional transfer. How does the sensor “know” the differential area under the emission curve and emit the correct amount?

          • What did I say which violates physics?

          • it is impossible for a cold body to transfer energy to a warmer body by radiation, as impossible as for conduction

          • Jeff Condon said

            Does the delay mean you don’t have an answer?

        • RomanM said

          I hesitate to butt it, but I would think that with all of the objections raised in the “Fun” thread, the ball would be in Mr. Johnson’s court to address all of the objections raised there.

          To put it politely, his advice that Jeff should “want to read books” sounds arrogant under the circumstances.

  9. Terry said

    “In the version of the 2nd law I give it is impossible for a cold body to transfer energy to a warmer body by radiation, as impossible as for conduction. Why do want to live in a world where this is possible?”
    How then do you explain the temperature recorded by an IR thermometer when pointed at a clear sky. Typicaly is will read about -20 to -30C. Now unless I am mistaken -20C is indicative of photons striking the IR sensor that is warmer than -20C. You can also do it by aiming it at the inside of a freezer. The sensor is about 20C and the ice about -4C yet photons are still absorbed at the sensor. Last time I checked, photons = energy.

  10. diogenes said

    guys – please do not get sucked into this nonsense again. DC and CJ are like androids sucking the brainpower out of the world.

    • I’m not going to get into a Doug argument, I’m hoping that Claes has better science skills. I don’t really know him but he has copied formulas from several text books in complete detail so I’m wondering if we can understand where he sees the differences. Oddly, most readers here are probably more familiar with the rest of the blogosphere than I. I spend my time reading science and politics and writing rather than looking at the huge variety of blogs. The list on the right is really about my limit although there are a few others.

      DC is still not allowed to comment here anymore.

  11. stevefitzpatrick said


    I have an idea: ignore all comments (and all block all frequent commenters) that suggest the second law forbids the emission of photons from a cooler body to a warmer one. That will eliminate a huge waste of effort on your part, and stop the endless, crazy sidtracking which takes place over and over again; you can’t save them (much as you might like to) so don’t encourage the derranged! People who don’t think basic radiative physics is correct are just, well, nuts… better to simply ignore them.

    • Steve,

      I’m not going too far with this. I’m tired of it and even used the word ‘bullshit’ in my post. I am truly curious if Claes can explain why he diverges from physics. He actually asked where his argument diverged from physics, as though he doesn’t know? Come on. I don’t like games.

      He doesn’t know this crowd well.

      With enough guts, Claes will experience honest and properly critical peer review.

    • Claes is the big dog of the second law argument. If he pretends to be too good to explain, the conversation will be short.

  12. Frank said

    With Claus, we have a mathematician unable to think like a scientist. Mathematics starts with a set of axioms and discovers theorems one can logically derive from those axioms. Euclidean, various non-Euclidean geometries, different sets of starting axiom are all equally-valid, self-consistent “theories”. We certainly don’t have to limited ourselves to geometries with the three dimensions of the real world. (The various sets of field axioms that underlie basic arithmetic are a strange abstract world compared with “experimental arithmetic” that begins with counting on your fingers.)

    In mathematics, one doesn’t create a hypothesis that says the world behaves according to a particular set of axioms and devise an experiment to determine whether or not these axioms are consistent with observations. An elegant hypothesis or set of axioms is a reality of its own that requires NO experimental testing; it’s wonderful when it turns out to be useful for anything. Non-Euclidean geometry was a valid field long before we observed starlight being bent by the sun during an eclipse.

    Claus offers a new wave theory of radiation that is innately beautify because it avoids the messy aspects of quantum and statistical mechanics that confused even great minds when these theories were being constructed (but which wouldn’t confuse them today). In mathematics, such theoretical constructs are never “wrong” – unless they turn out to be logically inconsistent. Claus doesn’t need show that his new theory of radiation can explain ALL of the known phenomena of radiation, especially those that demand that radiation be composed of particles. Knowing that his theory will be consistent with phenomena where light behaves like a wave is good enough. The low energy end of the blackbody emission curve is good enough, we don’t need to explain the whole thing. Maxwell’s theories have been invalidated experimentally, but everyone still studies and uses Maxwell’s equations to make some useful predictions about light. Why shouldn’t we try Claus’s theory instead? Claus is exploring world disconnected from experimental reality, where the first axiom is that radiation is obeys Claus’s theory. Some parts of his theory work (according to him). Mathematicians don’t consider two different sets of axioms, find situations where these axioms will make different “predictions” and conduct an experiment that will pick the best set of axioms. That wouldn’t be “logical”.

    The ultimate test of any theory is for it to predict some phenomena that wasn’t known when the theory was devised, THEN do the experiment and find that the phenomena exists. Is it logical to look for something that isn’t known?

    I could draw parallels with string theory, but many string theorists today admit that their theory is merely mathematics or philosophy until the theory makes a prediction that can be tested experimentally.

  13. gallopingcamel said

    The “discussion” seems pretty pointless to me. You are trying to have a rational argument with people who have fingers in both ears.

    • You may be right but I haven’t seen Claes discussions on the intertubes. It seems the replies came quick and fast until we got to hard facts. Still, it could be timezones.

      • Greg F said

        Claus was over at Roy Spencer’s blog not too long ago.

        When asked what the SKYRAD instrument measures he came up with this gem:

        An radio antenna is calibrated to resonate at certain frequencies, and can thus can record the spectrum of the emission from an emitter. The resonance of the antenna is then not perceived as heat because the radiowave resonance is low freq and heat is high freq.

        When I saw that nonsense I responded:

        Oh My.An antenna is “calibrated” to resonate over a band of frequencies. An antenna does not “record” anything. An antenna is essentially a transformer. The resonant frequency of an antenna is the point where the capacitive and inductive reactance are equal and therefore cancel. The impedance of a capacitor or inductor is called ‘imaginary’ due to the fact that capacitors and inductors can only store energy and therefore cannot do any work. For an antenna to work it must also have a ‘real’ impedance. An EM wave induces current in an antenna. That current flows through the ‘real’ impedance which is converted to ‘heat’. IOW, an antenna converts EM radiation to heat.

        Claus never responded to me, just one of his fellow travelers that tried to excuse it because English was a second language.

      • Jeff, I have written extensively on the subject of the 2nd law and radiative heat transfer. If you are not willing to read anything I have written, I do not see that we can have a meaningful discussion. I don’t see that repeating can help.


        • Jeff Condon said

          As I have repeatedly told you, I HAVE read quite a bit of your work. I was requesting a link to your BEST evidence and instead got TWO links to 200 + page documents.

          Certainly, from my reading, I am qulified to ASK the questions above, so if you intend to sell your story here, you could at least do the courtesy of answering my questions above. Your last question to me was ridiculous in that you asked me where your evidence violated standard physics. I provided the answer within minutes and you vanished.

          Now if you want to play games rather than answer questions, you have come to the wrong place. If you want to convince people of your argument, you have come to the right place but you will have to answer a few questions.

          • Jeff, if you state clearly what you consider
            in my work to violate physics, I will certainly

          • This is in violation of standard physics — “it is impossible for a cold body to transfer energy to a warmer body by radiation, as impossible as for conduction”

            Everyone who has studied physics knows that. The standard is that absorption happens in both directions yet the net is from hot to cold. The second law of thermodynamics is a bulk condition which is probability based. The transfers continue in both directions between two bodies all the time. This applies to conduction as well as radiation.

  14. Graham Young said

    Jeff, I think I can help you understand what Claes is saying. When radiation travels from cold to hot objects no heat can be transferred. If that happened, then there could be further heat transfers to other bodies as a result of the first one becoming warmer. All this clearly violates the Second Law.

    Instead, what happens is that, as physicists like my colleagues and I are now realising, partly because of Claes’ groundbreaking work, the radiation experiences what we call pseudo scattering. In this process “resonators” (as Claes calls them) use the energy in the radiation from the cooler source instead of the energy they had as thermal energy. Now they send new radiation which is identical to the received radiation but none of the energy in that received radiation is changed into thermal energy. However, the warmer body is only “allowed” to radiate a certain amount in total, so the process of sending out this pseudo scattered radiation is really just its own radiation, but not its own energy.

    Because it does not have to use so much of its own supply of thermal energy, the warmer body cools more slowly as we all agree is a proven physical fact. But the difference is that there is no heat transfer from cold to hot, only a one-way transfer from hot to cold which is still quantified by the difference in the SBL calculations. There is another reason why this is the case, but that takes a while to explain and I know you’re a busy man, and so am I. Be that as it may, this is what happens and it explains many observed facts in spectroscopy and even microwave ovens where low frequency radiation does not warm many things despite its intensity.

    So, you see, Claes’ explanation of machines like bolometers which measure difference in rates of cooling is quite valid. That is indeed exactly how they work, using the fact that bodies of different temperatures send radiation to the instrument which will slow its rate of cooling by different amounts. The instrument still detects a rate of cooling, even if a small steady input is used to help keep its plates at about the same temperature.

    • Nick Stokes said

      Out of curiosity, what is the Young/Claes analysis of simple radiation problems. Say 2 large flat black plates facing each other in vacuo, 1 m apart. Plate A at 300°K, plate B at 270°K. Elementary orthodox physics says plate A emits 459 W/m2, which is incident on B. B emits 301 W/m2 incident on A. Net flow 158 W/m2 from A to B.

      Entropy is created: 459/300 – 301/270 = 0.415 J/K/sec.

      What’s the alternative arithmetic?

      • Graham Young said

        There is no alternative arithmetic as I explained in the third paragraph of #14. What is it that you find difficult to understand in the words “one-way transfer from hot to cold which is still quantified by the difference in the SBL calculations.” ?

        • Nick Stokes said

          So what is the effect of your second para if the answer is still the same? What difference to the postulated “resonators” make?

          • Graham Young said

            See first paragraph of #17 below. Just a suggestion – consider reading all my posts before asking me questions.

          • Nick Stokes said

            I can’t see any answer there. But my challenge to you or Claes stands. State just some, any, circumstance where you think conventional physics gets the wrong answer and you can get the right answer. And say what the answer is, quantitatively (and hopefully, testably).

          • If you cannot see any difference with standard physics, whatever
            that is, why are arguing?

          • Graham Young said

            The right answer is there. Maybe you didn’t get to the end of the first paragraph in #17.

            The wrong answer in physics? Well try reading the second paragraph of #17 below – all of it this time.

    • Jeff Condon said


      I appreciate the response but am looking for Claes to answer. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of his work. When you say that this explains microwave oven behavior, I would point out that standard physics also explains microwave behavior and this is where quantum mechanics takes over. It is not correct to assume that standard physics doesn’t explain the warming properties of a microwave.

      So far in Claes work, I cannot discover any differences from standard physics except for quantum conclusion from bulk property equations like s-b which means the conclusion claimed – is not supported. I asked for his best reference to this and have not even received the courtesy of a reply. Not a good show for the ‘big dog’ of the second law nonsense.

      Nick Stokes is right to ask where the math is different but, like me, he already knows what the answer likely is. None.

      We need to know from Claes if we are wrong and he has demonstrated some difference – somewhere, anywhere. Then we can examine that difference and spot either flaws in standard phsyics or in his argument.

      My guess is that the response means he cannot provide anything and neither can anyone else.

      • Graham Young said

        But it is correct to say that standard physics does not explain the lack of warming by a microwave oven.

      • Jeff, in short I say that radiative heat transfer
        is one way fr.o.m. warm to cold. And that there
        are no IR photons.

        • I am aware of your conclusion, but looking for the foundation.

          Heat is generally a bulk property so I agree with the fact that heat is always transferffed from warm to cold. It would probably be better to discuss this in terms of energy only. On a quantum basis, energy transfer does happen from cold to warm. You said above that there is no radiative ‘energy’ transfer from cold to warm. This is in violation of standard physics and there are ways to prove or disprove this fact. What I am trying to find out, is where your theory mathematically diverges from standard physics. To be blunt, your writings are confusing and are littered with statements of conclusion which are not supported by the math I find. If you have some example where mathematically your work is differentiable, it would clarify a lot. Also, if there are some equations which are separable from the standard physics, that would help.

          I don’t think you are saying there is no such thing as an IR photon right?

  15. Ralph B said

    OK unless object 1 is at absolute zero it has energy…unless a 2nd object with more energy is completely homogenous in energy distribution there will be pockets of lower energy than oject 1 hence energy can flow either way.

    Can we get back to sea ice now?

    • Graham Young said

      This is very relevant to sea ice, because ice is not warmed, let alone melted, by low frequency radiation from colder parts of the atmosphere, such as is typical in polar regions. This is what makes an absolute farce of the IPCC conjecture that the Arctic will warm more than any other place on the planet, in fact by 6C to 8C by 2100, or so they say. See my post below about ice not melting in low frequency radiation in a microwave oven. Try it yourself – seeing is believing.

  16. dp said

    When a cold body radiates it has no prior knowlege of the environment into which it radiates. When a warm body is illuminated by radiation from a cold body it has no prior knowlege of the temperature of that body and is simply illuminated by it. There is no information in the illuminating radiation to indicate the surface temperature of the cold body. Neither is aware of the surface temperature of the other nor that each can illuminate the other without bias of prior knowlege. It just happens.

    Why is this so hard to understand?

    • The absorber records the frequency of the forcing it is subject to and only keeps as heat frequencies above its present cut-off. Why is this so hard to understand?

      • Nick Stokes said

        The required mechanism is very hard to understand. Discriminating frequencies and discarding those below a cutoff is a hard problem in electrical engineering. It’s the key problem in radio reception. Clever tricks like super heterodyne were designed to solve it, but still do it imperfectly.

        But you’re saying rocks can do it?

        I have read your manuscripts that you link. The anecdotes about noted scientists etc were interesting. I like the pictures. I can understand the mathematics, although I can’t see where it gets to. But what I would really like to see is an actual, testable forecast. Something where classical physics gets the wrong answer, you can get the right answer, and someone could test it.

  17. Graham Young said

    Ralph – we are talking climate, not small parts of the surface. And, even in that regard, you are mistaken if the “part” is large enough for us to measure a uniform temperature, but not so large as to have its own temperature gradient. In the latter case, we can consider sections of the object which are (close enough) to the same temperature. For the vast majority (>99%) of the Earth’s surface it is warmer than the atmosphere above it. Try a few backyard measurements yourself, day and night. Note that the air and ground under a table will be slightly warmer at night because the table is warmer than the atmosphere, so that area cools more slowly because of radiation from the underside of the table. However, only the component of cooling due to radiation is slowed. Other processes can and do continue longer into the night, and/or speed up their own cooling such that, on a worldwide basis the total effect on total cooling rates is zero, leading to very close balance in radiation at TOA. The adiabatic lapse rate and the level of total energy input work together to maintain the surface temperature. Remember that the overall rate of cooling of the surface is not affected by any radiation from the atmosphere or any so-called greenhouse effect.

    Dp: – You need to read and understand more about Planck distributions. The peak frequency in the radiation is proportional to the temperature of the source So of course the radiation carries a “signal” as to its temperature, or how else would a black metal object know if it is high frequency solar radiation warming ir or low frequency microwave radiation not warming it at all because it is not absorbed? Nothing absorbs any radiation in a microwave oven at the normal atomic level. All that happens is that water molecules are spun around and generate frictional heat. This is quite a different process from the absorption of solar radiation. If you place similar small quantities of cold water and ice in separate cooled microwave containers together in the MV oven for about 60 to 90 seconds the water gets hot, but the ice hardly shows any sign of melting. But put both in the sun for 5 minutes (which delivers far less energy in 5 minutes than the MV oven does in a minute) and the ice will start to melt, but the water gets nowhere near as warm as you know. So, in the MW oven the water gets nearly all the energy, but not so in the sunlight. The reason is that ice molecules are too closely packed to rotate around and cause friction. So too are molecules in most metals and other solids. It is the water molecules in the food that get warmed and then spread the energy by conduction.

  18. steveta_uk said

    It seems to me very likely that Graham Young is not who he claims to be.

    The arguments about microwaves, ice melt, tables in the garden, etc. are identical to those of another person who cannot be named (I guess due to automatic filtering?)

    His manner of never letting anyone question Claes without butting on and confusing the matter is also very familiar.

  19. Jeff: Doug Cotton is one of the few people who have read and understood the essence of what I am saying. You are welcome to question my work, but in order to make it meaningful you have read first and question after.

    To help understanding I have used many different metaphors or models and yet another is found at

    If you ban Doug you will probably ban me as well, before reading and thinking.

    • Doug is banned for threatening a lawsuit.

      I have never banned anyone else in almost 50,000 comments.

      As I have repeatedly told you, I have read your work. I am looking for what you consider the main difference, not 500 pages with standard physics intermixed with odd interpretations.

      Some kind of math or numbers that are different from the standard. A provable hypothesis. So far you have not been able to answer any of my questions and that does not bode well for your theory.

      I will check out your link later.

    • No math in the link.

    • I also see that others have had the same problem with you.

      I pointed out EXACTLY where your comment separated from physics two times above. Let me know when you come up with the answer.

  20. juakola said

    Jeff, I kinda see you in the same position as I am, since I have been debating some dudes in finnish forums about excactly the same things with people, who have read Johnson’s work. That has been going on a while now (almost a year in a daily basis), and I cannot begin to describe my frustration over them. They just keep repeating and repeating the same debunked arguments (originally made by Claes and Doug), and their math does not even contradict the greenhouse theory, but actually SUPPORTS IT. And when you provide them the most simple and irrefutable calculations of energy balance, or provide them measurements, they refuse to understand and start speaking of something else (usually something, which has AS WELL been debunked a while ago).

    They test your patience and when you lose it, they claim victory. A cunning tactic.

  21. diogenes said

    jeff – please ignore these guys and tell us what you have learned about ice…these guys can comment at the rate of 3000 words per minute, none of which is at all interesting

  22. Jeff Condon said


    I’ve skimmed your book so one last chance and I’m moving on. Can you explain, in your own words, at an atomic level, how you have demonstrated that the energy from two equal blackbody plates reflect off of each other without creating atomic vibrations that create heat. I don’t see it in your equations anywhere.

    I am seriously tired of the crap arguments and thoroughly unimpressed with your scientific ability to explain your theory.

    Put up or move on.

    • You bring up the case of least significance of two equally stupid, or clever if you like, persons who have nothing to learn from each other. They both balance a common force and so have no reason to change state or temperature.

      • Claes,

        You have a real opportunity to explain yourself to some sophisticated people. I manage a lot of people and don’t care to spend time with games. If you wish your story to take hold, you must first take the chance.

      • If you don’t want to, I’m fine with that too. My impression of the minions is a lot of handwaiving, no math and no understanding of the differences between your proposals and actual science.

        Sorry, but if you wish to overturn radiative thermodynamics without being able to provide an explanation, what kind of response do you expect?

        • mrmethane said

          So, just ban the buggers. You’re giving them free rent in your otherwise wise, busy and productive mind. They’ve succeeded in getting under your skin, which is really the passive-aggressive aim. They win as long as you keep engaging. Houseflies to be swatted, swept up and tossed.

  23. Greg F said

    I am not sure what point Claus is trying to make. Things like “heat frequencies” do not make any sense at all to me. Heat’s unit is Joules and frequency is Hertz (or cycle per second for us old timers). So what is a Joule Hertz? Sounds like what happens when you’re kicked in the crotch.

    The effective radiating temperature of the earth is about 255 degrees K which in wavelength is about 11 micro meters. A microwave oven radiates at a wave length of about 120 millimeters. So the fact that ice melts faster at shorter wavelengths is about as informative as telling me that VHF antenna is not very effective at receiving UHF signals. I did find the following rather interesting.

    Light Absorption by Water Molecules and Inorganic Substances Dissolved in Sea Water

    Click to access 9780387307534-c2.pdf

  24. blueice2hotsea said

    Doug Cotton. You are the worst possible emissary for Johnson’s ideas, a Don Quixote crackpot – with rabies! PLEASE STOP.

    • Carrick said

      Blue, I don’t see Claes as being much better of an emissary. He resorts to actually fairly similar rhetorical tricks—sending you to r url instead of summarizing his arguments here, a constant “roll back” in what he means as he gets querulous responses, and a willingness to accuse others of what he does himself, which is to not directly and precisely answer questions.

      Of course he is under no obligation to answer any particular question, just as I am under no particular obligation to take a single word he has to say say seriously. He’d better pick his game up if he wants to play on this blog.

      • blueice2hotsea said

        Carrick –

        My comment #34 is a reply orphaned when one of that guy’s early comments was deleted. I wish it would have been deleted too. Now it is just a strange random eruption floating near the bottom of the comments.

        My later comment #26, was about my reaction to Johnson’s dismissal of the molecular chaos explanation of entropy; it was nothing to do with back-radiation. One of many things: CJ’s criticism of Boltzmann’s response to Loschmidt’s Paradox. It got me to thinking of the least probable state, the one most far from equilibrium – The Big Bang. A zero probability state with a probability of one. Hmmm. Is that what prompted the Anthropic Principle, etc. In short, I found it interesting. That’s all.

        Even more interesting would be a discussion between you and Johnson. You always seemed ask the right questions on the ‘Fun’ thread with that guy and handled it w/o blowing your stack. Unlike me.

  25. Hugo M said

    claesjohnson said on April 12, 2012 at 2:40 am:

    The absorber records the frequency of the forcing it is subject to and only keeps as heat frequencies above its present cut-off. Why is this so hard to understand?

    Nick Stokes said on April 12, 2012 at 4:25 am:

    The required mechanism is very hard to understand. Discriminating frequencies and discarding those below a cutoff is a hard problem in electrical engineering. It’s the key problem in radio reception. Clever tricks like super heterodyne were designed to solve it, but still do it imperfectly.

    But you’re saying rocks can do it?

    Jeff Condon said on April 12, 2012 at 11:15 am:


    If there is something we can see that is differentiable, I’m sure a suitable experiment can be devised.

    I really wonder why Claes Johnson does not come forward with a proposal to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. As far as I can know Jeff from distance, he has the means, the capability and the will to start such an experiment within a week.

    • I wonder too but at the same time I am unsurprised. His writings don’t support his conclusions in any way I can tell. My guess is that he doesn’t have any more depth of understanding than Doug Cotton.

  26. Espen said

    I had a brief look at Claes Johnson’s work and I don’t have the necessary physics background to really judge its merits, but his basic novel idea raises a huge red flag for me: To suggest that “finite precision computation” is actually somehow “reality”. This seems to be a frequently reoccurring fallacy in several different sciences. For instance, when statistical variance analysis was developed for psychology, some psychologists started to imagine the brain itself as actuallyperforming variance analysis. It’s been a frequent fallacy in linguistics, too – imagining that this or that artifact of formal linguistics actually has some real counterpart in our brains. I had some other examples in mind, too (there are a lot of examples involving computers and computation these days….), but I’m getting a bit short on time, so in short: I think I’m seeing the same fallacy of confusing a useful tool with reality in mr. Johnson’s work…

    • Anonymous said

      Well, the auditory system at least does perform what amounts to a Fourier analysis, translating an accoustic signal from the time domain into frequency bands while mapping it into parallel stripes of cortical neurons.

  27. blueice2hotsea said

    Did not want to lose my temper. I guess rabies is contagious. Let me try to express my frustration more diplomatically.

    IMO, Claes Johnson’s material is dramatically more lucid and subtle than an encounter with Cotton might lead one to expect. How’s that?

    Last year, I read alot of Claes Johnson’s material without taking much offense. (I am talking about the claesjohnson.wordpress books, articles, etc, not the blogspot and I haven’t read Dragon Slayers). Yet I understand how it may upset some, even when climate is not even mentioned.

    In theoryoftime, Claes Johnson spends some 300 pages exploring time, mathematics of reversible laws and irreversible processes. All nice. Then abruptly, casually and plausibly, the 2nd Law of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics are dispensed. Poof. Gone.

    As a non-power option EE major, I opted to study fluids as an alternative to thermo. Loved it. If entropy is replaced by turbulent dissipation there’s not much for me to unlearn. And I imagine that the jargon of the new paradigm will be quite sensible compared to the old. OTOH, if I had spent years working in the field, I might get really pissed off by what I just said. No offense intended.

    For me, Johnson’s re-exploration of basic physics ideas is quite interesting, even entertaining. Regardless of whether or not the ideas receive wide acceptance, I think the time I spent reading them was worthwhile. Thanks Dr. Johnson.

    • I don’t agreee with your assessment at all. Perhaps you can point me to the detail that refutes my opinioin.

      Claes goes through physics, jumping around, one law after another, and makes a conclusion which I see no support for in the writings.

      See, the argument he makes is based on the fact that it is difficult to say which photon did what. It is very difficult to determine which energy did what, but interactions are quantified in standard science, it is up to Claes to first describe why before suitable consideration can be given. These interactions happen on a quantum scale though and have nothing to do with the reality of the second law or the ability of the greenhouse effect to cause warming.

      I (and Nick) had been curious if he could answer some simple questions that would allow us to proceed to the root of his claims, he choses not to. When a man proports to have overturned thermodynamics (like the perpetual motion machine) yet refuses to engage questions, he is peddling cow poo.

      I welcome his (or anyone’s) clarification.

      • If you have some questions, express them in clear terms and I will seek to answer. But I do not see any point in repeating what I have already written, which is available to inspection.

        • I have repeated the same question above several times. I have also inspected your work enough to know the question is good. However, I will give you a new question which is based as before – only on seeking to understand your position. This question though will require a follow up.
          Multiple statements are made with respect to absorption below and above the cutoff frequency. I pointed out to Doug laser exaples where absorption occured both below and above the frequency. I expected the answer to be that the amplitude is also a factor, after first denying the existence of these lasers, eventually Doug figured the answer out. But from your work you write:

          Frequencies below cut-o will be absorbed and radiated as coherent waves, while frequencies above cut-o will be absorbed and transformed into internal energy in the form of incoherent waves.

          Did you intend to write that any frequency on either side of the cutoff will be reflected or absorbed 100% based enitrely on frequency, or did you intend to write frequencies having amplitudes equal or less than the blackbody emission spectrum at that temperature?

          • The setting is radiative transfer of heat energy between (nearby) blackbodies of different temperature, and then frequency is enough. If we include also effects of distance (radiation from the Sun e.g.) then also amplitude or intensity will enter in the way you suggest.

          • That is what I expected your answer would be as it matches your equations. I strongly suggest changing the wording as Doug was initially very confused on this matter.

            Please bear with me as we are working toward the real discussion. So with that in mind, comparing your equations and standard physics, if you have two infinite graphite plates of unequal temperatures T1 and T2, is there any net difference in energy transfer between the plates?

          • Why do you ask if you know the answer? There is no net, no difference, only flow from warm to cold.

          • I ask because many have misrepresented you. They don’t get the nuance of the fun you have outlined. I call it fun because I get it – so does Nick Stokes. There is a tiny window which your theory must penetrate to get past the easy stuff. One more step before we move forward.

            You agree that the radiation measured when sensors are pointed to the sky, exists, has the same magnitude, and is the result of the gasses present, correct? No change whatsoever in magnitude from standard physics?

          • You mix up “measure radiation” which could be “measure frequency”, with transfer of heat energy.
            An IR camera may be sensitive to a certain frequency, in one way or the other, without being heated by that frequency. The step from frequency to heat transfer is taken by Planck’s radiation law and if it is misinterpreted it could be read to indicate two-way heat transfer from difference in frequency/temperature, which would only be fantasy without physical reality.

          • Nope, please lets not jump tracks to sensor types. That is a different discussion, which if we enjoy the discussion enough, we can continue later.

            I will re-word:

            You agree that the radiation returned from the sky, exists, has the same magnitude, and is the result of the absorption/emission nature of the gasses present, correct? No change whatsoever in magnitude from standard physics?

          • You have not read/understood: There is no radiation from the sky in the sense of transfer of heat,
            and transfer of heat are what we are talking about. I have said this many times and I get tired of repeating it over and over.

          • I did NOT mention transfer of heat. I was quite careful to avoid the “heat” nomenclature for the reason that I do understand. Bulk concepts are not requried in this discussion, as I wrote in our very first exchange. We should discuss radiation in terms of energy only, until we get to individual interaction with atoms.

            My properly phrased radiation question stands – we are NOT discussing heat:

            “You agree that the radiation returned from the sky, exists, has the same magnitude, and is the result of the absorption/emission nature of the gasses present, correct? No change whatsoever in magnitude from standard physics?”

          • What is “radiation returned from the sky”?

          • I don’t see the differentiation in your equations and expected this to be very simple.

            Reworded again:

            “You agree that the electromagnetic radiation returned from the sky, exists, has the same frequency and magnitude, and is the result of the absorption/emission nature of the gasses present, correct? No change whatsoever in frequency or magnitude from standard physics?”

          • If you by “electromagnetic radiation returned from the sky” mean “backradiation” then you hit the main point of my criticism. You don’t seem to have read/understood my argument and I don’t think our discussion is meaningful.

          • In my opinion you seem to fear competence:

            Answer the simple question so we can move to more interesting discussion.

          • Nick Stokes said

            “An IR camera may be sensitive to a certain frequency, in one way or the other, without being heated by that frequency. “
            To measure the frequency, it has to interact with the radiation, which carries energy. If the camera is not heated, what happened to that energy?

          • Claes, I don’t like sophistry. Never have. Either you have the chops to discuss your theory or you don’t. I’m fully aware that much of climate blogland isn’t very sophisticated, but you picked the wrong blog for that. You have grabbed the tail of the beast, so let those of us who can actually understand your work, hear your clarificaitons.

            I am sorry for the harsh tone, but for the tenth time, I don’t like games.

          • I have given my arguments that there is only one-way radiative transfer of heat energy from warm to cold, no two-way transfer with net from difference of flow in two directions. If you don’t understand my arguments, I can only help by asking you to read again. But I ask you to present your evidence of two-way radiative heat transfer with net from difference. What is the physics of this phenomenon? And don’t tell me that there are IR-photons traveling back and forth doing the job. There are no IR photons, as Einstein said.

          • Jeff Condon said

            So you refuse to answer the simple question again and instead wish to stomp around about your conclusions?

          • Jeff Condon said

            I will be happy to discuss two-way transfer, but we first have to agree on our foundation of discussion. This question should be well aside from your unusual belief that IR photons don’t exist yet visual light does. Have I got that part right?

            Do you agree that the electromagnetic radiation returned from the sky, exists, has the same frequency and magnitude, and is the result of the absorption/emission nature of the gasses present, correct? No change whatsoever in frequency or magnitude from standard physics?”

          • You are going round in a circle Jeff: Your question is either meaningless since “electromagnetic radiation returned form the sky” is not well defined, or if I give it a meaning, I just say that I do not agree. I think we have come to a dead end and better take time-out to think, both of us.

          • “I think we have come to a dead end and better take time-out to think, both of us.”

            I can’t go in a circle with one single question. I ask, you avoid. I re-ask, you avoid. Seems like nonsense to me. Electromagnetic radiation emitted by gasses toward the ground? You SHOULD know perfectly well what I wrote. I wrote standard physics.

            Your equations don’t seem to indicate any energy vanishing, they also don’t seem to indciate any energy not existing. The blackbody stuff looks like Planck’s law with an arbitrary cutoff which you have defined for reflected energy. Since the energy still exists, and is magically reflected, I don’t see how the energy spectrum will be any different. The cutoff seems very much arbitrary and unique but there doesn’t seem to be much room for different answers.

            So, since you ‘don’t’ agree with standard physics here, yet your equations don’t reveal anything different, can you explain exactly where we should see a difference in the atmosphere spectrum/amplitude from the standard physics explanation?

          • Carrick said

            IMO, everything should start with what really happens—individual photons emitted and absorbed by molecules, and remember that the full theory requires quantum electrodynamics, a purely classical treatment of the problem is entirely rubbish, and a mixed up quantum classical view, equally so. (If you don’t think photons exist, you’d better have a good alternative explanation for all of the data that indicates otherwise.)

            Don’t start with macroscopic generalizations talking about how it’s not possible for heat to flow from a colder body to a warmer one, until you define what you mean by “colder” and “warmer” and what you mean by “heat”.

            If a colder object (one with a lower mean molecular kinetic energy) is in physical contact with a warmer one (one with a higher mean molecular kinetic energy), and a molecule that is part of the lower temperature body collides with a molecule that is part of the warmer body, a net transfer of energy will occur, and the warmer body will grow warmer (the mean molecular kinetic energy of the body will increase). It is only after you average over a large number of collisions that classical statements that “the net exchange of thermal energy (‘heat’) between a warmer and colder body is from the warmer to the colder one” applies.

            (And even with all of that there is the caveat that we are in the classical Newtonian physics limit.)

  28. Doug,

    You have refuted NOTHING, and Claes doesn’t have the intent to answer simple questions.

    You are banned here for your OWN ignorant threats to sue, as a tactic to squelch discussion, and the ban is permanent. Go peddle your ignorance to those who are suckered by such things.

  29. Doug Cotton you need to stop harassing the owner of this blog.

    He has banned you and will delete your comments as they appear.

    I personally know you are now hurting the reputation of PSI that you are a member of because you appear a fanatic here and in a few other places where you have already been banned.You have had your say here and many know what you think and believe now it is time to SHUT UP and leave.

  30. Doug,
    Go away.

  31. stevefitzpatrick said


    Hum… So, the “slayers” must conclude a red dwarf star orbiting a a brighter main sequence star emits strongly in the infrared in all directions (heck, we can observe the emission!), except the direction of the other star, because that other star is warmer. Because, I assume, the atoms in the red dwarf, or the photons (or EM waves if you prefer) those atoms emit somehow “know” that the other star is “out there” in a certain direction, and that inhibits emission. This is all so incredibly stupid that all I can do is laugh at it. The requirment of temporal causality demands uncoordinated blackbody emissions of photons from all objects. Were I you, I would never engage these delusional nutcakes.

    • Jeff Condon said

      I can’t believe that the main driver, Claes, doesn’t even have the wherewithal to discuss it. You would think it would be a simple matter to point out the differences, write the equations and try to establish where observation supported/contradicted the theory.

      I was more than skeptical when it started, and willing to assume that Claes was a bad communicator in his papers, nothing written here has changed any of that.

      Bovine scatology smells the same whether it is alarmism or something else.

    • Dave Schaack said

      New to this blog and to this discussion. Your post is so on point that I have decided not to post my own replies about the existence of IR photons, whether or not an IR detector is always heated by the radiation it detects, and what, in general, is required of a person who claims to have discovered something new.

  32. Espen said

    Sometimes you learn something even from silly statements. The denial of IR photons inspired me to a little googling, and I quickly found out that single photon detection now has been demonstrated all the way to the 1Thz-band, i.e. even for the far infrared, and definitely for the wavelengths of DLR.

  33. diogenes said

    the truly interesting thing is that Doug Cotton somehow has the ability to make his vacuous posts on about 50 blogs simultaneously….I doubt whether anyone reads the poor little neglected darling by now

  34. I ceartainly would have expected a better discussion from a guy who has written thousands of pages on the matter. I think he was intimidated by an open discussion.

    • Yes, I could get intimidated by people criticizing my work without reading it, but I am used to that and I don’t let it darken the sky.

      • As I have told you multiple times, I have read your work. I even re-read this weekend.

        If you want any credibility in the scientific community, you need to stop with the false representations of this discussion. You will not win any points with lies.

        You are unfamiliar with this blog but you really look very bad when you play stupid games rather than address the substance.

      • clt510 said

        I’d also rather see evidence Claes can coherently discuss the issues than have everything munge through his various rambling on the subject..

        • It sounds overly critical when you write it like that but in my opinion it is a just critique. His writings are prolific and filled with endless fluff. You finish one section after another wondering why it was even written. Hundreds of pages of book copied math which seem to serve no purpose except to appear smart. If there is a truly new piece of science, it would be far more separable and discussable than this mess.

          Therefore it reads like ramblings, you step through the math of section after section learning nothing new, no concrete points added, and in the end you are left with nothing but basic questions about the claims. There are VERY strong conclusions hidden in the various texts. There should be at least some science worth discussing.

          Were Claes open, this blog adventure would have been a much more positive experience for him, even though his conclusions seem to be completely unsupported by his math.

          We can’t even get past the bulk equations to discuss the quantum effects. That is what I had hoped for in a discussion.

      • Dave Schaack said

        OK, I’ve got a little time, so I am going to say something about this.

        At the beginning, this is going sound like it is about me, but it is not; please allow me a couple of paragraphs as an introduction to my point.

        I have 8 patents, all of which I have written by myself. I had some considerable help with the process from a patent agent, and a little help from patent attorneys, for the first few patents, but the latest ones I handled completely on my own; I learned how to do this.

        My patent applications tend to be long; some of them have been over 100 pages. When the first office action finally came back on the first application, the examiner rejected all of my claims as being unpatentable over another patent that I had specifically discussed in my application and about which I had clearly explained why it was inadequate to the task that my invention addressed. The examiner produced a bunch of nonsense verbiage as justification for his rejection. Clearly, the examiner had not read my application. I was livid! Why didn’t this #@$%% idiot simply READ the damn application? I put one hell of a lot of time into writing it!

        That anger lasted a few days; maybe a few weeks. However, as I thought about things, I realized that patent examiners are simply not allowed anything like sufficient time to do a thorough examination, especially of complicated applications. So, they do what they can practically do, which is to look at the applicant’s figures, look at the claims, maybe read a little bit of what the applicant has written, and then pick a related, previously issued patent and make a more or less plausible sounding argument that the applicant has not invented anything that should be granted a patent in view of this prior art.

        This puts the ball back in the inventor’s court. It is up to the inventor, at that point, to simply, clearly, and completely explain why his application should be granted, given the details of the examiner’s rejection. As I got my head around the idea, I began to embrace the process — this is a great opportunity. Explain things simply and clearly so that the examiner can follow and be convinced by your argument, and you get a patent. Don’t do that, and have a continuing battle on your hands, with eventual success not guaranteed.

        This is exactly what a self-described discoverer of new physics must do, if he wants his ideas to be accepted. He must meet objections with simple, clear, and complete explanations of where his ideas differ from those previously accepted, where the previous ideas go wrong, and why his new ideas are correct. Yes, it is up to the innovator to do the work — and that is his great opportunity!

        In the present case, you Claesjohnson, need not meet every objection ever made anywhere; you can pick and choose a few. But you do need to do this a few times, and this is exactly the opportunity that Jeff has offered you.

        Of course, as will be very clear to many here, in order for the innovator to be able to do this, he or she has to actually understand the conventional physics that is supposedly going to be overturned.

        • j ferguson said

          These are very helpful observations. Thank you. I had been watching Jeff’s attempt at a dialog and marveling at his patience. It seems self evident that Jeff’s questions were serious and that he had given his best shot at the homework Claes was demanding. Yet whatever the bases of Claes’ assertions might be, Jeff wasn’t finding them.

          My guess is that this is Claes’ first patent application and he hasn’t yet confronted the possibility that because he understands something doesn’t guarantee that anyone else will, Doug Cotton excepted.

          A lot of nonsense is published, if that’s the right word, in skeptic blogs, but not here. My innumeracy and ignorance force me to “trust” other opinions. But I think I’m pretty good at choosing whom to trust; Jeff, for sure, Nick Stokes, Mosher, when I can understand him, Carrick, Lucia and a few others.

          I suspect that there are other like me. So I would suggest to Claes, that this is a very good place to try to make your case. I think most of the people who follow this blog, who, like me, lack the background to take on your work ourselves, would be very impressed with it if you can show, and convince Jeff, that either you have overturned several elements of accepted physics, or discovered a new way of understanding them.

          Surely the novelty of what you have done is discrete enough to contain in a thread like this.

  35. blueice2hotsea said

    I imagine that John Wheeler would have liked this resolution of Loschmidt’s Paradox. OTHO, it does lend support to you-know-who…

    Quantum Solution to the Arrow-of-Time Dilemma

    The arrow-of-time dilemma states that the laws of physics are invariant for time inversion, whereas the familiar phenomena we see everyday are not (i.e., entropy increases). I show that, within a quantum mechanical framework, all phenomena which leave a trail of information behind (and hence can be studied by physics) are those where entropy necessarily increases or remains constant. All phenomena where the entropy decreases must not leave any information of their having happened. This situation is completely indistinguishable from their not having happened at all. In the light of this observation, the second law of thermodynamics is reduced to a mere tautology: physics cannot study those processes where entropy has decreased, even if they were commonplace.

  36. Sugel said

    The second law of thermodynamics looks mathematically simple but it has so many subtle and complex implications that it makes most chem majors sweat a lot before (and after) they graduate. Fortunately its practical, down-to-earth applications are easy and crystal clear. These are what we’ll talk about. From them we’ll get to very sophisticated conclusions about how material substances and objects affect our lives. Q: Sounds fair. I’m listening.A: Look at the direction that energy flows in any happening or process or event. That is the first step to understanding what the second law of thermodynamics is and what it applies to.

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