Who discovered the second law of thermodynamics? (And when?)

Rudolf clausius
Source (wikimedia)

The short answer: German physicist Rudolf Clausius discovered the second law of thermodynamics during the year 1850.


  • During the year 1850, Rudolf Clausius discovered the second law of thermodynamics as; 

    “Heat can not itself flow from colder body to a hotter body.”

    This is known as Clausius statement in thermodynamics.
  • Also in 19th century only, the another statement of second law was proposed by Lord Kelvin and Planck.

    This statement is known as Kelvin-Plank’s statement which is mentioned below;

    “It is impossible to construct a device (operating in a cycle) which works on a single heat source and converts all of its heat completely in to work”
  • Later in 1865, Rudolf Clausius discovered the entropy statement of the second law of thermodynamics as;

    “The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum”

I hope you have got the answer to your question.

For more detailed information on Second law of thermodynamics, check the ultimate guide on Second law of thermodynamics.

(This guide has all the important knowledge about Second law of thermodynamics along with real life examples and lots more. You will love this guide for sure.)

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