Howard Seifert

photo neededIn hmolscience, Howard Stanley Seifert (1911-1977) was an American aeronautics physicist noted, in human thermodynamics, for his 1960 to 1961 objections to Robert Lindsey’s 1859 thermodynamic imperative.

In 1961, Seifert, in his “Can We Decrease Our Entropy?”, took issue, in a manner possibly similar to Alexander Pope's "should gravity cease when we go by" assertion, with American physicist Robert Lindsey’s 1859 thermodynamic imperative. [1] A lecture on this title was originally given by Seifert, at a luncheon on May 9th, 1960, to the American Rocket Society. [4] The following is a noted quote from Seifert’s article: [2]

“The first and second laws of thermodynamics are of course known to us as the ten commandments, and probably obeyed more consistently.”

In his article, in question of Lindsey’s second law based morality theory, that it is one’s moral responsibility to create order, Seifert notes that no one really knows or agrees on what constitutes “maximum order”; noting, for instance, that time and energy spent on creating a feather cut hairdo or a beehive, may not constitute maximum order in the view of the engineer. On this same question, Egyptian-born American physicist Jack Hokikian notes that sociologists may question the intrinsic value of a synthetic diamond making factory, while people in the streets outside the factory are starving. [2]

Seifert completed his BS and MS in physics at Carnegie Institute of Technology, after which he transferred to the California Institute of Technology to complete his PhD. in physics. His early postdoctoral experience included a position as Associate Professor of Physics at Kalamazoo College in Michigan for a period of two years, from which he went to the Westinghouse Corporation as a research physicist for another two years. In 1942, Seifert joined the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology and entered the field of rocket propulsion that was to become his specialty. Seifert was a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford from 1960 to 1976. He also directed the Physical Sciences Laboratory at the United Aircraft Corporation (1960-65) and was president of the American Rocket Society (1960). [3]

1. Seifert, Howard S. (1961). “Can We Decrease Our Entropy?” (abs), American Scientist, Summer-June, 124A.
2. Hokikian, Jack. (2002). The Science of Disorder: Understanding the Complexity, Uncertainty, and Pollution in Our World (pg. 229, 232). Los Feliz Publishing.
3.(a) Bershader, Daniel, Chang, I-Dee, and Vincenti, Walter. (date). “Memorial Resolution: Howard Stanley Seifert (1911-1977).” Stanford University.
(b) Guide to the Howard Seifert Papers, 1960-1977 – Stanford University Archives.
4. Anon. (1960) Western Aerospace (pg. 30). Western Aviation Magazine, Vol. 40.

External links
‚óŹ Seifert, Howard S. – WorldCat Identities.

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