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.

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