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Maxwell demon

noun

, Physics.
  1. 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.


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Word History and Origins

Origin of Maxwell demon1

First recorded in 1875–80; after J. C. Maxwell

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Maxwell-Boltzmann statisticsMaxwell, James Clerk