Szilard's perpetuum mobile

Meir Hemmo*, Orly Shenker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In a previous article, we have demonstrated by a general phase space argument that a Maxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics. In this article, we show how this idea can be put to work in the prevalent model of the Demon, namely, a particle-in-a-box, used, for example, by Szilard and Bennett. In the literature, this model is used in order to show that a Demon is incompatible with statistical mechanics, either classical or quantum. However, we show that a detailed phase space analysis of this model illustrates that aMaxwellian Demon is compatible with statistical mechanics.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)264-283
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


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