University Physics with Modern Physics (14th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0321973615
ISBN 13: 978-0-32197-361-0

Chapter 20 - The Second Law of Thermodynamics - Problems - Discussion Questions - Page 676: Q20.9


This process is consistent with the second law of thermodynamics.

Work Step by Step

It may appear that the second law is violated, because one statement of the second law of thermodynamics, found on page 657, states that it is impossible for any process to have as its sole result the transfer of heat from a colder to a hotter body. The cooler cloth seems to be spontaneously giving up heat to the hotter air. However, this process is not happening spontaneously, and it is not sustainable. The heat transfer is not the sole result – the water is transforming into water vapor, a process that takes in heat from the nearby air, cooling it. In other words, evaporative cooling does not violate the second law.
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