Does This Reaction Break the Second Law of Thermodynamics?


In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. A reaction that oscillates between two states. Could it be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Andrea Sella investigates.

Day 13 of our thermodynamics advent calendar: http://www.rigb.org/christmas-lecture…

In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. It’s a reaction that can’t seem to make up its mind. As two liquids are mixed together, a colour change occurs, then reverses, then happens again, then flips back…

What’s going on? Could this seemingly spontaneously reversing reaction be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Chemist Andrea Sella demonstrates the startling Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction and explains why, in the end, no laws are broken.

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 http://www.rigb.org/christmas-lecture…

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