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Physics: Second Law of Thermodynamics

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1. Use the second law of thermodynamics to explain why many poor people in developing countries live on a mostly vegetarian diet?

2. Someone wants you to invest money in an automobile engine that will produce more energy than the energy in the fuel (such as gasoline or electricity) used to run the motor. What is your response? Hint: Second law of thermodynamics.

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Solution Summary

This solution applies the second law of thermodynamics to solve for both of the physics questions attached.

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1. Use the second law of thermodynamics to explain why many poor people in developing countries live on a mostly vegetarian diet?

So, first let's recall what the second law of thermodynamics states. There are physical definitions, in terms of equations, but this seems more like a biology application, so we'll leave the math out of it. Anyways, specific to your question, the second law of thermodynamics states that if you have some transformation of energy occurring, then there will be some energy loss due to the release of heat. Think of energy transfers between the different levels in a food web. So, when one animal feeds off another, there is a net energy loss ...

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