Camille Flammarion

Camille Flammarion nsIn hmolscience, Camille Flammarion (1842-1925) was a French astronomer noted, in literature thermodynamics, for his 1893 heat death themed science fiction novel The End of the World.

In 1893, Flammarion, in his The End of the World (La fin du Monde), a philosophical thermodynamics-themed science fiction, about a comet colliding with the earth, in his final chapter, pictorially presents dismal heat death end view of life, shown below—the pictures captured “the wretched human race will freeze to death” and “this will be the end”, respectively: : [1]

Heat death (Flammarion)

Flammarion’s illustrator, in short, gives two dark pictures of the end of humanity based on thermodynamic speculation: [2]

In two wide-spread German history of science textbooks, these pictures are given as an illustration of the pessimistic conclusions nineteenth century physicists (among them Hermann von Helmholtz) had drawn from the second principle of thermodynamics. They believed that in a remote future, the entropy of the universe would grow to a maximum, and all available energy would be transformed into heat.

This apocalyptic vision was often called "heat death", but as the average temperature would then be very low, the expression "cold death" was used as well. [3]

1. (a) Flammarion, Camille. (1893). The End of the World (La fin du Monde) (“The Apogee” (L’apogee), pg. 299). Paris.
(b) Russett, Cynthia E. (1991). Sexual Science (pgs. 162-63; also: entropy, pg. 128). Harvard University Press.
(c) Morus, Iwan R. (2005). When Physics Became King (Fig. 5.5: heat death picture envisaged by Camille Flammarion in 1893).
2. (a) Clarke, Bruce. (2002). From Energy to Information: Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature (Flammarion, pgs. 71-72; see also: Part I: The Cultures of Thermodynamics, (pgs. 35-94); and “From Thermodynamics to Virtuality,” (pp.17-33)). Ed. Clarke and Henderson. Stanford University Press.
(b) ibid, Flammarion. (1893). “Eqiloque: Apres La Fin du Monde Terrestre—dissertation philosophique finale”.
(c) Holton, Gerald J. and Brush, Stephen G. (2001). Physics: the Human Adventure (18.4: Entropy and the Heat Death, pgs. 259-61). Rutgers University Press.
3. Camille Flammarion’s use of Thermodynamics – History of Science and Technology, Martin-Luther University.

External links
‚óŹ Camille Flammarion – Wikipedia.

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