Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: August 2014

9 - Maxwell's Demon


During many months of unusual adventures, in the course of which the professor tried to introduce Mr Tompkins to the secrets of physics, Mr Tompkins became more and more enchanted by Maud and finally, and rather sheepishly, made a proposal of marriage. This was readily accepted, and they became man and wife. In his new role of father-in-law, the professor considered it his duty to enlarge the knowledge of his daughter's husband in the field of physics and of its most recent progress.

One Sunday afternoon Mr and Mrs Tompkins were resting in armchairs in their comfortable flat, she being engulfed in the latest issue of Vogue, he reading an article in Esquire.

‘Oh,’ Mr Tompkins exclaimed suddenly, ‘here is a chance game system which really works!’

‘Do you really think, Cyril, that it will?’ asked Maud, raising her eyes reluctantly from the pages of the fashion magazine. ‘Father has always said that there can't be such a thing as a surefire gambling system.’

‘But look here, Maud,’ answered Mr Tompkins, showing her the article he had been studying for the last half hour. ‘I don't know about other systems, but this one is based on pure and simple mathematics, and I really don't see how it could possibly go wrong.’