The claim “scientists will soon be able to cool substances to absolute zero” has had research conducted by scientists over 100 years that can be used in order to show that it is a false claim. Initial research supported that cooling a substance down to absolute zero is physically impossible and therefore supporting that the third law of thermodynamics is accurate. The third law of thermodynamics states that “within a finite number of steps, it is impossible to cool a substance down to absolute zero”. Furthermore, there are multiple aspects in the research question that can be investigated in order to show why absolute zero cannot be reached and how close can we get to reaching absolute zero.
The first main argument is the density of states within a finite reservoir as there are limitations on the cooling process depending on the reservoir. The second main aspect is why an infinite reservoir can support a given system to reach absolute zero. Furthermore, it is important to understand the relationship between quantum information theory and the laws of thermodynamics. The laws of thermodynamics are used for making resources based on temperature and technology. Thermodynamics laws use certain theories to quantify a transformation of an atoms state. Also, research conducted to prove the second law of thermodynamics provided evidence using work systems that showed a correlation between thermodynamics and quantum information theory. This enforces that the laws of thermodynamics have a direct link with quantum information theory. Therefore, mathematical concepts from quantum information theory can be used to support the third law of thermodynamics. This research investigation will be primarily based on the research paper written by LLuis Masanes & Jonathon Oppenheim who were the scientists who proved the third law of thermodynamics.
As mentioned in the rationale, the first main aspect is the density of states within the reservoir. The density of states affects the speed of cooling in a substance. In this instance, it can be represented with the symbol Ω(E). As the speed of Ω(E) increases, the temperature obtained will be lower within finite resources and a finite time period. If the growth of Ω(E) increases at a rapid speed to provide enough energy to obtain absolute zero, the substance would no longer be in physical form as its micro-canonical heat capacity would create a negative number. The general relationship between the density of states and heat capacity is:
In this relationship, the symbol C(E) represents the micro-canonical heat capacity of the substance. S(E) represents ln Ω(E). For S(E) to be able to grow for (E), an infinite reservoir would then be required as they also support faster cooling properties.
A high majority of evidence used in this research investigation in order to support the third law of thermodynamics was from the research paper “A general derivation of the third law of thermodynamics” from scientists LLuis Masanes & Jonathan Oppenheim. However, a vast majority of other sources showed support for this particular research paper. Therefore, the evidence that is being used to support the third law of thermodynamics should not be completely discredited. Some researchers in particular do not show any signs of credibility. Therefore, evidence gathered from these sources may not be in complete accuracy. The evidence gathered from these two sources will need to be clarified with other sources.
The research question “how can the third law of thermodynamics be mathematically supported using quantum information theory?” was based on evidence gathered from research in order to oppose the claim “scientists will soon be able to cool substances to absolute zero”. The evidence gathered uses mathematical concepts derived from quantum information theory in order to support the third law of thermodynamics which states that absolute zero is impossible to reach. However, the evidence gathered is only based on one particular theory to discredit the claim. This means that there may be other possible theories that support the claim. Therefore, the evidence used in this research investigation may not completely falsify the claim.
As stated in the research question, the third law of thermodynamics is supported using quantum information theory. There is not enough evidence in the paper on what quantum information theory is and its relationship with thermodynamics. Therefore, further research can be done on this aspect as this may leave the research question partially unanswered. Furthermore, there was limited proof used to support the theories proposed in the analysis & interpretation. Without using the support of the theories, this research once again cannot be fully credited.
New studies from research conducted by lab scientists have come across new substances known as super-fluids. An example of a super-fluid is liquid helium. Liquid helium has managed to be cooled down to absolute zero. Doing an analysis of liquid helium’s properties can give a more clear representation of the type of resources required if we wanted to cool a substance down to absolute zero and what differences there are in a regular substance.
It can be shown throughout the paper that there is thorough research being used to support the research question in order to falsify the claim. However, there was not enough proof from other concepts or theories used to showing cooling a substance to absolute zero is impossible. In conclusion, the evidence gathered to support research question “how can the third law of thermodynamics be mathematically supported using quantum information theory” should have partial discredit for the reasons stated above.
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