Meeting the Entropy Challenge: An International Thermodynamics Symposium in Honor and Memory of Professor Joseph Henry Keenan

An International Thermodynamics Symposium
In Honor and Memory of Professor Joseph Henry Keenan


The symposium featured open discussions among international experts about conceptual, foundational and philosophical issues, enigmas, paradoxes and open questions regarding the role that the second law of thermodynamics plays in natural sciences, including physics, biology, energy, engineering, quantum information, micro and nanotechnology, and cosmology.

Note: This event has already occured. This schedule will remain available for archival purposes.

Thursday, October 4, 2007




Opening remarks

Speaker: Ahmed Ghoniem, Symposium Chairman


Welcoming remarks

Speaker: Susan Hockfield, President, MIT


J.H. Keenan’s Contribution to Thermodynamics

Speaker: George Hatsopoulos


The Second Law and Statistical Mechanics

Speaker: Dick Bedeaux, Professor of Physical Chemistry, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Download: Dick Bedeaux’s Lecture


Coffee Break


The Second Law and Quantum Physics

Speaker: Charles Bennett, IBM Research Center

Download: Charles Bennett’s Lecture


The Second Law and Cosmology

Speaker: Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, MIT

Download: Max Tegmark’s Lecture


Lunch Break

Keynote Address

Topic: Building on the Legacy of Joseph H. Keenan

Speaker: Elias Gyftopoulos, Professor Emeritus, MIT

Location: MIT Faculty Club


Panel Discussion

Topic: Foundations of the Second Law

Moderators: Seth Lloyd and Robert Silbey, MIT

Participants: Seth Lloyd, MIT; Owen Maroney, Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics; Silviu Guiasu, York University; Ping Ao, University of Washington; Jochen Gemmer, University of Osnabrueck; Bernard Guy, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Saint-Etienne; Gian Paolo Beretta, Università di Brescia; Speranta Gheorghiu-Svirschevski; Dorion Sagan


Coffee Break


Panel Discussion

Topic: Frontiers of the Second Law

Moderators: Seth Lloyd and Robert Silbey, MIT

Participants: Adrian Bejan, Duke University; Bjarne Andresen, Niels Bohr Institute Copenhagen; Miguel Rubi, Universitat de Barcelona; Signe Kjelstrup, Norwegian University of Science and Technology; Miroslav Grmela, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal; Lyndsay Gordon; Thomas Avedisian, Cornell University; Eric Schneider, Hawkwood Institute; George Hatsopoulos




Gala Dinner and Commemoration of J.H. Keenan

Location: Museum of Science

Invitees: Symposium participants, alumni, and friends

Friday, October 5, 2007


The Second Law and Biophysics

Speaker: Kenneth Dill, Professor of Biophysics, University of California San Francisco

Download: Kenneth Dill’s Lecture


Coffee Break


Panel Discussion

Topic: Teaching the Second Law

Moderators: Seth Lloyd and Robert Silbey, MIT

Participants: Joseph Smith, MIT; Howard Butler, University of West Virginia; Andrew Foley, U.S. Coast Guard Academy; Linda Griffith, MIT; Kim Hamad-Schifferli, MIT; Bernhardt Trout, MIT; Jeffery Lewins, Magdalene College; David Jou, Autonomous University of Barcelona; Enzo Zanchini, Università di Bologna; Michael von Spakovsky, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


Lunch Break

The MIT Energy Initiative

Speaker: Ernest Moniz, Professor and Director of MITEI, MIT

Location: Cambridge Marriott Hotel


The Second Law and Energy

Speaker: Steven Chu, Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 1997 Nobel Laureate

Download: Steven Chu’s Lecture


Panel Discussion

Topic: The Second Law and Energy

Moderators: Seth Lloyd and Robert Silbey, MIT

Participants: Thomas Widmer; Ernest S. Geskin, New Jersey Institute of Technology; James Keck, MIT; Noam Lior, University of Pennsylvania; Debjyoti Banerjee, Texas A & M University; Richard Peterson, Oregon State University; Erik Ydstie, Carnegie Mellon University; Ron Zevenhoven, Åbo Akademi University; Zhuomin Zhang, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ahmed Ghoniem, MIT


Closing remarks

Speakers: Ahmed Ghoniem, George Hatsopoulos