Bounded Phase Space

Megan Szalay

1.

Let me preach to you a second
Priestly, for you must believe
Without understanding why.

In bounded phase space,
Where fluids turn flat and ideal
Temperatures are negative.

I mean truly negative,
Kelvin negative, less than
Absolute zero negative.

In most systems adding energy
Means an increase in entropy
Not for us though. Not for us.

2.

[SOME SYSTEMS ONLY HOLD AS MUCH ENERGY AS SWEET TEA HOLDS SUGAR]

A pile of white packets on the table; I am asking for a little more sweetness, a little more sugar, sugar.
A little more, a little more, until it breaks, until

[SUPER SATURATION, THE CRYSTALS FALLING LIKE HAIL, OH HAIL MARY FULL OF SUGAR, FULL OF GRACE, THE TEA IS READY DARLING]

Honey, sweetie, darling, the tea is ready. Your tea is ready, darling.

3.

Do you see now? Do you see?
You don’t, I got lost and you
Got lost. I’m sorry, darling.

Redefine temperature as
Statistical entropy, that is
Forget thermodynamics.

I don’t have much time,
Add energy, add energy
Until it cannot hold any more

I’m on my last stanza,
There are only so many states
Order them, order them, order them.

4.

[AND THUS THE LORD SAID, IN CHAOS THERE SHALL BE ORDER, IN DARKNESS THERE SHALL BE NUCLEAR FUSION. THERE, RADIANT RADIATION SHALL BE LIGHT.]

Please, I want to tell them, I want to tell them, I don’t understand yet but I want to tell them.

[CERTAIN BOUND PARTICLE SYSTEMS HAVE A MAXIMUM ENERGY THEY CAN HOLD. UPON APPROACHING THIS MAXIMUM THE SYSTEM WILL DECREASE IN ENTROPY.]

And thus the Lord said, Let the points cluster.
And thus He said, According to the model of statistical entropy, a system tending towards order in high energy states indicates a negative temperature.

5.

Five is mine, now I can
Tell you, tell you, tell you.
The Law of Moses states,

Heat always flows from
Hot to cold, hot to cold
Your tea is getting cold.

And a supersaturated system
Is very hot, so be careful with
That cup, my darling.

Heat flows from negative
Systems to positive systems
And still runs hot to cold.

6.

[IMAGINE THE SHATTERED CUP FALLING ONTO THE TABLE INTO SHAPE, THE ORDERING OF HIGH ENERGY STATES, A FIXING WHERE THERE SHOULD BE BREAKING, TIME RUNNING BACKWARDS]

Directional time obeys entropy, as it moves forward entropy increases always.
If entropy decreases, the cup shatters into place. The tape rewinds. And if entropy is how we distinguish past from future,

[HOW CAN WE GO BACK?]