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Maxwell demon

noun, Physics.
a hypothetical agent or device of arbitrarily small mass that is considered to admit or block selectively the passage of individual molecules from one compartment to another according to their speed, constituting a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
Origin of Maxwell demon
First recorded in 1875-80; after J. C. Maxwell Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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