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You can’t build a machine to clean up the mess of a previous machine!

 I am not a student of physics as my question will likely reveal. I understand there is a principle in physics that you can’t build a machine to clean up the mess of a previous machine. I am wondering if this is an interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics or if it stems from someplace else?

Asked Tim Christensen

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time, and is constant if and only if all processes are reversible

There exists a useful thermodynamic variable called entropy (S).
 A natural process will go in the direction that causes the entropy of
 the system plus the environment to remain constant or increase.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of an isolated system can never decrease over time, and is constant if and only if all processes are reversible

Clausius statement

Heat can never pass from a colder to a warmer body without some other change, connected therewith, occurring at the same time.

Kelvin statements

It is impossible for a self-acting machine, unaided by any external agency, to convey heat from one body to another at a higher temperature.It is impossible, by means of inanimate material agency, to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects

Planck’s proposition

It is impossible to construct an engine which will work in a complete cycle, and produce no effect except the raising of a weight and cooling of a heat reservoir

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