Thermodynamics: The 2016 advent calendar
Day 13

Does this reaction break the second law?

In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. Could it be violating the laws of thermodynamics?

In the 1950s, Russian chemist Boris Belousov reported a bizarre reaction. It’s a reaction that can’t seem to make up its mind. As two liquids are mixed together, a colour change occurs, then reverses, then happens again, then flips back…

What’s going on? Could this seemingly spontaneously reversing reaction be violating the second law of thermodynamics? Chemist Andrea Sella demonstrates the startling Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction and explains why, in the end, no laws are broken.

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