Chapter 9: Fundamental Physics

Section 3: Irreversibility and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

My explanation of the Second Law

What I say in this book is not incompatible with much of what has been said about the Second Law before; it is simply that I make more definite some key points that have been left vague before. In particular, I use notions of computation to specify what kinds of initial conditions can reasonably be prepared, and what kinds of measurements can reasonably be made. In a sense what I do is just to require that the operation of coarse graining correspond to a computation that is less sophisticated than the actual evolution of the system being studied. (See also Chapters 10 and 12.)

From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]