Cartesian mind body dualism and modern versions of this viewpoint posit a mind thermodynamically unrelated to the body but informationally interactive. The relation between information and entropy developed by Leon Brillouin demonstrates that any information about the state of a system has entropic consequences. It is therefore impossible to dissociate the mind's information from the body's entropy. Knowledge of that state of the system without an energetically significant measurement would lead to a violation of the second law of thermodynamics.
One finds, in Maxwell's writings on thermodynamics and statistical physics, a conception of the nature of these subjects that differs in interesting ways from the way that they are usually conceived. In particular, though—in agreement with the currently accepted view—Maxwell maintains that the second law of thermodynamics, as originally conceived, cannot be strictly true, the replacement he proposes is different from the version accepted by most physicists today. The modification of the second law accepted by most physicists is (...) a probabilistic one: although statistical fluctuations will result in occasional spontaneous differences in temperature or pressure, there is no way to predictably and reliably harness these to produce large violations of the original version of the second law. Maxwell advocates a version of the second law that is strictly weaker; the validity of even this probabilistic version is of limited scope, limited to situations in which we are dealing with large numbers of molecules en masse and have no ability to manipulate individual molecules. Connected with this is his concept of the thermodynamic concepts of heat, work, and entropy; on the Maxwellian view, these are concepts that must be relativized to the means we have available for gathering information about and manipulating physical systems. The Maxwellian view is one that deserves serious consideration in discussions of the foundation of statistical mechanics. It has relevance for the project of recovering thermodynamics from statistical mechanics because, in such a project, it matters which version of the second law we are trying to recover. (shrink)
There ought to exist a description of quantum field theory which does not depend on an external classical time. To achieve this goal, in a recent paper we have proposed a non-commutative special relativity in which space-time and matter degrees of freedom are treated as classical matrices with arbitrary commutation relations, and a space-time line element is defined using a trace. In the present paper, following the theory of Trace Dynamics, we construct a statistical thermodynamics for the non-commutative special (...) relativity, and show that one arrives at a generalized quantum dynamics in which space and time are non-classical and have an operator status. In a future work, we will show how standard quantum theory on a classical space-time background is recovered from here. (shrink)
We use Padoa's principle of independence of primitive symbols in axiomatic systems in order to show that time is dispensable in continuum thermodynamics, according to the axiomatic formulation of Gurtin and Williams. We also show how to define time by means of the remaining primitive concepts of Gurtin and Williams system. Finally, we introduce thermodynamics without time as a primitive concept.
In this work, we have investigated the validity of the generalized second law of thermodynamics in logamediate and intermediate scenarios of the universe bounded by the Hubble, apparent, particle and event horizons using and without using first law of thermodynamics. We have observed that the GSL is valid for Hubble, apparent, particle and event horizons of the universe in the logamediate scenario of the universe using first law and without using first law. Similarly the GSL is valid for (...) all horizons in the intermediate scenario of the universe using first law. Also in the intermediate scenario of the universe, the GSL is valid for Hubble, apparent and particle horizons but it breaks down whenever we consider the universe enveloped by the event horizon. (shrink)
Recent developments point to a breakdown in the generalized second law of thermodynamics for theories with Lorentz symmetry violation. It appears possible to construct a perpetual motion machine of the second kind in such theories, using a black hole to catalyze the conversion of heat to work. Here we describe and extend the arguments leading to that conclusion. We suggest the inference that local Lorentz symmetry may be an emergent property of the macroscopic world with origins in a microscopic (...) second law of causal horizon thermodynamics. (shrink)
The general attributes of ecosystems are examined and a naturally occurring reference ecosystem is established, comparable with the isolated system of classical thermodynamics. Such an autonomous system with a stable, periodic input of energy is shown to assume certain structural characteristics that have an identifiable thermodynamic basis. Individual species tend to assume a state of least dissipation; this is most clearly evident in the dominant species (the species with the best integration of energy acquisition and conservation). It is concluded (...) that ecosystem structure results from the antagonistic interaction of two nearly equal forces. These forces have their origin in the Principle of Most Action (least dissipation or least entropy production) and the universal Principle of Least Action. Most action is contingent on the equipartitioning of the energy available, through uniform interaction of similar individuals. The trend to Least action is contingent on increased dissipation attained through increasing diversity and increasing complexity. These principles exhibit a basic asymmetry. Given the operation of these opposing principles over evolutionary time, it is argued that ecosystems originated in the vicinity of thermodynamic equilibrium through the resonant amplification of reversible fluctuations. On account of the basic asymmetry the system was able to evolve away from thermodynamic equilibrium provided that it remained within the vicinity of ergodynamic equilibrium (equilibrium maintained by internal work, where the opposing forces are equal and opposite).At the highest level of generalization there appear to be three principles operating: i) maximum association of free-energy and materials; ii) energy conservation (deceleration of the energy flow) through symmetric interaction and increased homogeneity; and iii) the principle of least action which induces acceleration of the energy flow through asymmetrical interaction. The opposition and asymmetry of the two forces give rise to natural selection and evolution. (shrink)
Over the last 10–15 years the second law of thermodynamics has undergone unprecedented scrutiny, particularly with respect to its universal status. This brief article introduces the proceedings of a recent symposium devoted to this topic, The second law of thermodynamics: Foundations and Status, held at University of San Diego as part of the 87th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the AAAS (June 19–22, 2006). The papers are introduced under three themes: ideal gases, quantum perspectives, and interpretation. (...) Roughly half the papers support traditional interpretations of the second law while the rest challenge it. (shrink)
Constantin Caratheodory offered the first systematic and contradiction free formulation of thermodynamics on the basis of his mathematical work on Pfaff forms. Moreover, his work on measure theory provided the basis for later improved formulations of thermodynamics and physics of continua where extensive variables are measures and intensive variables are densities. Caratheodory was the first to see that measure theory and not topology is the natural tool to understand the difficulties (ergodicity, approach to equilibrium, irreversibility) in the Foundations (...) of Statistical Physics. He gave a measure-theoretic proof of Poincaré's recurrence theorem in 1919. This work paved the way for Birkhoff to identify later ergodicity as metric transitivity and for Koopman and von Neumann to introduce spectral analysis of dynamical systems in Hilbert spaces. Mixing provided an explanation of the approach to equilibrium but not of irreversibility. The recent extension of spectral theory of dynamical systems to locally convex spaces, achieved by the Brussels–Austin groups, gives new nontrivial time asymmetric spectral decompositions for unstable and/or non-integrable systems. In this way irreversibility is resolved in a natural way. (shrink)
This work assembles some basic theoretical elements on thermal equilibrium, stability conditions, and fluctuation theory in self-gravitating systems illustrated with a few examples. Thermodynamics deals with states that have settled down after sufficient time has gone by. Time dependent phenomena are beyond the scope of this paper. While thermodynamics is firmly rooted in statistical physics, equilibrium configurations, stability criteria and the destabilizing effect of fluctuations are all expressed in terms of thermodynamic functions. The work is not a review (...) paper but a pedagogical introduction which may interest theoreticians in astronomy and astrophysicists. It contains sufficient mathematical details for the reader to redo all calculations. References are only to seminal works or readable reviews. Delicate mathematical problems are mentioned but are not discussed in detail. (shrink)
We analyze the rather unusual properties of some exact solutions in 2D dilaton gravity for which infinite quantum stresses on the Killing horizon can be compatible with regularity of the geometry. In particular, the Boulware state can support a regular horizon. We show that such solutions are contained in some well-known exactly solvable models (for example, RST). Formally, they appear to account for an additional coefficient B in the solutions (for the same Lagrangian which contains also “traditional” solutions) that gives (...) rise to the deviation of temperature T from its Hawking value T H . The Lorentzian geometry, which is a self-consistent solution of the semiclassical field equations, in such models, is smooth even at B≠0 and there is no need to put B=0 (T=T H ) to smooth it out. We show how the presence of B≠0 affects the structure of spacetime. In contrast to “usual” black holes, full fledged thermodynamic interpretation, including definite value of entropy, can be ascribed (for a rather wide class of models) to extremal horizons, not to nonextreme ones. We find also new exact solutions for “usual” black holes (with T=T H ). The properties under discussion arise in the weak-coupling regime of the effective constant of dilaton-gravity interaction. Extension of features, traced in 2D models, to 4D dilaton gravity leads, for some special models, to exceptional nonextreme black holes having no own thermal properties. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that one-way quantum computation can be seen as a form of phase transition with the available information about the solution of the computation being the order parameter. We draw a number of striking analogies between standard thermodynamical quantities such as energy, temperature, work, and corresponding computational quantities such as the amount of entanglement, time, potential capacity for computation, respectively. Aside from being intuitively pleasing, this picture allows us to make novel conjectures, such as an estimate (...) of the necessary critical time to finish a computation and a proposal of suitable architectures for universal one-way computation in 1D. (shrink)
In a previous paper (Duncan, T.L., Semura, J.S. in Entropy 6:21, 2004) we considered the question, “What underlying property of nature is responsible for the second law?” A simple answer can be stated in terms of information: The fundamental loss of information gives rise to the second law. This line of thinking highlights the existence of two independent but coupled sets of laws: Information dynamics and energy dynamics. The distinction helps shed light on certain foundational questions in statistical mechanics. For (...) example, the confusion surrounding previous “derivations” of the second law from energy dynamics can be resolved by noting that such derivations incorporate one or more assumptions that correspond to the loss of information. In this paper we further develop and explore the perspective in which the second law is fundamentally a law of information dynamics. (shrink)
In statistical thermodynamics the 2nd law is properly spelled out in terms of conditioned probabilities. As such it makes the statement, that `entropy increases with time' without preferring a time direction. In this paper we try to explain this statement---which is well known since the time of the Ehrenfests---in some detail within a systematic Bayesian approach.
David Lewis ([1986b]) gives an attractive and familiar account of counterfactual dependence in the standard context. This account has recently been subject to a counterexample from Adam Elga (). In this article, I formulate a Lewisian response to Elga’s counterexample. The strategy is to add an extra criterion to Lewis’s similarity metric, which determines the comparative similarity of worlds. This extra criterion instructs us to take special science laws into consideration as well as fundamental laws. I argue that the Second (...) Law of Thermodynamics should be seen as a special science law, and give a brief account of what Lewisian special science laws should look like. If successful, this proposal blocks Elga’s counterexample. (shrink)
Or better: time asymmetry in thermodynamics. Better still: time asymmetry in thermodynamic phenomena. “Time in thermodynamics” misleadingly suggests that thermodynamics will tell us about the fundamental nature of time. But we don’t think that thermodynamics is a fundamental theory. It is a theory of macroscopic behavior, often called a “phenomenological science.” And to the extent that physics can tell us about the fundamental features of the world, including such things as the nature of time, we generally (...) think that only fundamental physics can. On its own, a science like thermodynamics won’t be able to tell us about time per se. But the theory will have much to say about everyday processes that occur in time; and in particular, the apparent asymmetry of those processes. The pressing question of time in the context of thermodynamics is about the asymmetry of things in time, not the asymmetry of time, to paraphrase Price ( , ). I use the title anyway, to underscore what is, to my mind, the centrality of thermodynamics to any discussion of the nature of time and our experience in it. The two issues—the temporal features of processes in time, and the intrinsic structure of time itself—are related. Indeed, it is in part this relation that makes the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics so interesting. This, plus the fact that thermodynamics describes a surprisingly wide range of our ordinary experience. We’ll return to this. First, we need to get the question of time asymmetry in thermodynamics out on the table. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to analyse the relation between the second law of thermodynamics and the so-called arrow of time. For this purpose, a number of different aspects in this arrow of time are distinguished, in particular those of time-reversal (non-)invariance and of (ir)reversibility. Next I review versions of the second law in the work of Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin, Planck, Gibbs, Caratheodory and Lieb and Yngvason, and investigate their connection with these aspects of the arrow of time. (...) It is shown that this connection varies a great deal along with these formulations of the second law. According to the famous formulation by Planck, the second law expresses the irreversibility of natural processes. But in many other formulations irreversibility or even time-reversal non-invariance plays no role. I therefore argue for the view that the second law has nothing to do with the arrow of time. (shrink)
Lawrence Sklar in his book, Physics and Chance (1993), proposes a sophisticated account of reduction of thermodynamics (TD) by statistical mechanics (SM). I argue that Sklar's analysis of the alleged reduction of TD by SM is problematic in several respects. I consider a few counterexamples to show that none of what Sklar takes to be the central features of successful reduction in science (unification and identification) holds in the case of TD and SM. I suggest the broader conclusion that (...) a more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another. (shrink)
Huw Price argues that there are two conceptions of the puzzle of the time-asymmetry of thermodynamics. He thinks this puzzle has remained unsolved for so long partly due to a misunderstanding about which of these conceptions is the right one and what form a solution ought to take. I argue that it is Price's understanding of the problem which is mistaken. Further, it is on the basis of this and other misunderstandings that he disparages a type of account which (...) does, in fact, hold promise of a solution. (shrink)
This paper discusses the mistake of understanding the laws and concepts of thermodynamics too literally in the foundations of statistical mechanics. Arguing that this error is still made in subtle ways, the article explores its occurrence in three examples: the Second Law, the concept of equilibrium and the definition of phase transitions.
It is generally accepted, following Landauer and Bennett, that the process of measurement involves no minimum entropy cost, but the erasure of information in resetting the memory register of a computer to zero requires dissipating heat into the environment. This thesis has been challenged recently in a two-part article by Earman and Norton. I review some relevant observations in the thermodynamics of computation and argue that Earman and Norton are mistaken: there is in principle no entropy cost to the (...) acquisition of information, but the destruction of information does involve an irreducible entropy cost. (shrink)
Can we explain the laws of thermodynamics, in particular the irreversible increase of entropy, from the underlying quantum mechanical dynamics? Attempts based on classical dynamics have all failed. Albert (1994a,b; 2000) proposed a way to recover thermodynamics on a purely dynamical basis, using the quantum theory of the collapse of the wavefunction of Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (1986). In this paper we propose an alternative way to explain thermodynamics within no-collapse interpretations of quantum mechanics. Our approach relies (...) on the standard quantum mechanical models of environmental decoherence of open systems, e.g. Joos and Zeh (1985) and Zurek and Paz (1994). (shrink)
I began this study with Laudan's argument from the pessimistic induction and I promised to show that the caloric theory of heat cannot be used to support the premisses of the meta-induction on past scientific theories. I tried to show that the laws of experimental calorimetry, adiabatic change and Carnot's theory of the motive power of heat were (i) independent of the assumption that heat is a material substance, (ii) approximately true, (iii) deducible and accounted for within thermodynamics. I (...) stressed that results (i) and (ii) were known to most theorists of the caloric theory and that result (iii) was put forward by the founders of the new thermodynamics. In other words, the truth-content of the caloric theory was located, selected carefully, and preserved by the founders of thermodynamics. However, the reader might think that even if I have succeeded in showing that laudan is wrong about the caloric theory, I have not shown how the strategy followed in this paper can be generalised against the pessimistic meta-induction. I think that the general strategy against Laudan's argument suggested in this paper is this: the empirical success of a mature scientific theory suggests that there are respects and degrees in which this theory is true. The difficulty for -- and and real challenge to -- philosophers of science is to suggest ways in which this truth-content can be located and shown to be preserved -- if at all -- to subsequent theories. In particular, the empirical success of a theory does not, automatically, suggest that all theoretical terms of the theory refer. On the contrary, judgments of referential success depend on which theoretical claims are well-supported by the evidence. This is a matter of specific investigation. Generally, one would expect that claims about theoretical entities which are not strongly supported by the evidence or turn out to be independent of the evidence at hand, are not compelling. For simply, if the evidence does not make it likely that our beliefs about putative theoretical entities are approximately correct, a belief in those entities would be ill-founded and unjustified. Theoretical extrapolations in science are indespensable , but they are not arbitrary. If the evidence does not warrant them I do not see why someone should commit herself to them. In a sense, the problem with empricist philisophers is not that they demand that theoretical beliefs must be warranted by evidence. Rather, it is that they claim that no evidence can warrant theorretical beliefs. A realist philosopher of science would not disagree on the first, but she has good grounds to deny the second. I argued that claims about theoretical entities which are not strongly supported by the evidence must not be taken as belief-worthy. But can one sustaon the more ambitious view that loosely supported parts of a theory tend to be just those that include non-referring terms? There is an obvious excess risk in such a generalisation. For there are well-known cases in which a theoretical claim was initially weakly supported by the evidence. (shrink)
Electronic computers generate heat and the need for its removal sets a practical limit to their performance. In thermodynamic terms, the heat arises from the degradation of the work energy supplied electrically to operate the computer. The study of the thermodynamics of computation, surveyed in Bennett (1982), seeks to find the limits in principle to reduction of this dissipation. Since it reduces with the size of the computing device, the most thermodynamically efficient computers are sought among those that use (...) individual molecules, charges or magnetic dipoles as memory storage devices. (shrink)
This paper considers the problem of causal explanation in classical and statistical thermodynamics. It is argued that the irreversibility of macroscopic processes is explained in both formulations of thermodynamics in a teleological way that appeals to entropic or probabilistic consequences rather than to efficient-causal, antecedental conditions. This explanatory structure of thermodynamics is not taken to imply a teleological orientation to macroscopic processes themselves, but to reflect simply the epistemological limitations of this science, wherein consequences of heat-work asymmetries (...) are either macroscopically measurable (entropy) or calculable (probabilities), while efficient-causal relationships are obscure or indeterminable. (shrink)
Well known quantum and time paradoxes, and the difficulty to derive the second law of thermodynamics, are proposed to be the result of our historically grown paradigm for energy: it is just there, the capacity to do work, not directly related to change. When the asymmetric nature of energy is considered, as well as the involvement of energy turnover in any change, so that energy can be understood as fundamentally "dynamic", and time-oriented (new paradigm), these paradoxes and problems dissolve. (...) The most basic consequence concerns the particle-wave dualism. For a reversible inter-conversion of a particle into a wave, subject to a dynamic energy, a self-image of information has to be generated: quantum theory has to be complemented by a theory of information. Then, quantum processes can be derived from classical ones and the second law of thermodynamics with the tendency of increasing entropy follows in a straightforward way. (shrink)
This paper aims: (1) to show that Lawrence Sklar`s recent attempt to reduce thermodynamics(TD) to statistical mechanics(SM) is fallacious in several respects; and (2) to suggest a broader conclusion that a more useful way of understanding the relationship between TD and SM is as collaboration and competition among alternative methodologies rather than reduction of one theory to another. To argue for (1), I discuss two cases (the distinction of intensive/extensive variables in TD and the existence of phase transitions) where (...) TD is more accurate than statistical mechnaics and thus corrects SM. I also discuss the case of temperature in order to argue for both (1) and (2). (shrink)
It is shown that a number of questions, usually considered philosophical rather than scientific, can be reformulated to apply to a world of automata or "well-informed heat engines." In some cases they admit of physical answers, but in many cases obtaining answers entails violation of the second law of thermodynamics. This is demonstrated explicitly for the problem of determinism and free will, for the discovery of the origin or ultimate fate of the universe, or for the discovery of causes (...) or purposes in nature. (shrink)
Proponents of two axioms of biological evolutionary theory have attempted to find justification by reference to nonequilibrium thermodynamics. One states that biological systems and their evolutionary diversification are physically improbable states and transitions, resulting from a selective process; the other asserts that there is an historically constrained inherent directionality in evolutionary dynamics, independent of natural selection, which exerts a self-organizing influence. The first, the Axiom of Improbability, is shown to be nonhistorical and thus, for a theory of change through (...) time, acausal. Its perception of the improbability of living states is at least partially an artifact of closed system thinking. The second, the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality, is supported evidentially and has an explicit historical component. Historically constrained dynamic populations are inherently nonequilibrium systems. It is argued that living, evolving systems, when considered to be historically constrained nonequilibrium systems, do not appear improbable at all. Thus, the two axioms are not compatible. Instead, the Axiom of Improbability is considered to result from an unjustified attempt to extend the contingent proximal actions of natural selection into the area of historical, causal explanations. It is thus denied axiomatic status, and the effects of natural selection are subsumed as an additional level of constraint in an evolutionary theory derived from the Axiom of Historically Determined Inherent Directionality. (shrink)
In a previous work (M. Campisi. Stud. Hist. Phil. M. P. 36 (2005) 275-290) we have addressed the mechanical foundations of equilibrium thermodynamics on the basis of the Generalized Helmholtz Theorem. It was found that the volume entropy provides a good mechanical analogue of thermodynamic entropy because it satisfies the heat theorem and it is an adiabatic invariant. This property explains the ``equal'' sign in Clausius principle ($S_f \geq S_i$) in a purely mechanical way and suggests that the volume (...) entropy might explain the ``larger than'' sign (i.e. the Law of Entropy Increase) if non adiabatic transformations were considered. Based on the principles of microscopic (quantum or classical) mechanics here we prove that, provided the initial equilibrium satisfy the natural condition of decreasing ordering of probabilities, the expectation value of the volume entropy cannot decrease for arbitrary transformations performed by some external sources of work on a insulated system. This can be regarded as a rigorous quantum mechanical proof of the Second Law. We discuss how this result relates to the Minimal Work Principle and improves over previous attempts. The natural evolution of entropy is towards larger values because the natural state of matter is at positive temperature. Actually the Law of Entropy Decrease holds in artificially prepared negative temperature systems. (shrink)
The disciplines of cybernetics, semiotics and thermodynamics investigate evolutionary processes quite independently from each other. The aim of this paper is to draw the parallels and point out the possibility and necessity of a reconciliation between these disciplines. The concept of metasystem transition has been proposed by Turchin as a quantum of evolution from a cybernetic point of view. Semiotic processes are of prime importance for the realisation of metasystem transitions in the course of evolution. From a thermodynamic (...) point of view, the emergence of more complex, self-producing agents depends on the emergence of more advanced forms of semiosis. As an evolutionary consequence, more symbolic forms of semiosis that allow higher competence for abstraction and anticipation emerge. (shrink)
This part of the paper concludes the presentation of the unified theory. It is shown that the theory requires the existence of, and applies only to, irreducible quantal dispersions associated with pure or mixed states. Two experimental procedures are given for the operational verification of such dispersions. Because the existence of irreducible dispersions associated with mixed states is required by Postulate 4 of the theory, and because Postulate 4 expresses the basic implications of the second law of classical thermodynamics, (...) it is concluded that the second law is a manifestation of phenomena characteristic of irreducible quantal dispersions associated with the elementary constituents of matter. (shrink)
A generalized Onsager reciprocity theorem emerges as an exact consequence of the structure of the nonlinear equation of motion of quantum thermodynamics and is valid for all the dissipative nonequilibrium states, close and far from stable thermodynamic equilibrium, of an isolated system composed of a single constituent of matter with a finite-dimensional Hilbert space. In addition, a dispersion-dissipation theorem results in a precise relation between the generalized dissipative conductivity that describes the mutual interrelation between dissipative rates of a pair (...) of observables and the codispersions of the same observables and the generators of the motion. These results are presented together with a review of quantum thermodynamic postulates and general results. (shrink)
A new interpretation of thermodynamics is advanced; thermodynamics is the study of those properties of macroscopic matter that follow from the symmetry properties of physical laws, mediated through the statistics of large systems.
Abstract Scientific, technological, ethical, and religious issues confronting the human prospect are emerging as we encounter the inevitable shift from fossil to renewable fuels. In particular, we are entering a period of monumental transition with respect to both the forms and use of energy. As for any technological transition of this magnitude, ultimate success will require good ethics and religion, as well as good science and technology. Economic and political issues associated with energy conservation and renewable energies are arising in (...) the context of climate change, sustainability, and human purpose. Specifically, we must consider (1) ethical and religious perspectives which might guide future energy choices and (2) energy choices which, in turn, might challenge ethical and religious perspectives. In this paper, I set the stage for subsequent articles by introducing thermodynamic and theological considerations relevant to our energy future. Scientific and technological aspects are covered within the context of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Ethical and religious aspects are covered within the context of basic philosophical and theological motifs within our secular culture. My intention is to provide the necessary background, motivation, and perspectives for a fuller discussion of pertinent issues in the remainder of the conference papers. (shrink)
The thermodynamics of life Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-012-9651-8 Authors J. Scott Turner, SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
From both physical and epistemological viewpoints, the following theses, which nowadays are often discussed in the literature, are examined: Nonlinear thermodynamics renders it possible to grasp evolutionary physical processes; for thermodynamics it introduces, instead of idealized reversible time, a directed time into physics; thus a science is established that is nearer to reality than classical physics. To analyze these theses, the relation of thermodynamics to dynamical physics is considered. In particular, it is demonstrated that, in classical as (...) well as in modern thermodynamics, irreversibility is introduced via conditions which must be formulated in addition to the dynamical laws. To show the reason for this, the epistemological status of the physical time conception is analyzed, and its character as a physical measurement quantity is established. (shrink)
Given the generic canonical probability in phase φ=exp[β(Ψ-H)], contact is traditionally made with phenomenological thermodynamics by comparing the identity δ〈φ〉=0 with the relationTδS=δU+δW, δ indicating an arbitrary infinitesimal variation of the thermodynamic coordinates and angular brackets ensemble means. This paper is concerned with the inverse problem of finding both the generic form of the phase functionw such thatS=〈w〉 and the explicit form φ=αexp[(F-H)/kT] of the canonical distribution on the basis of the requirement that the consequences of the phenomenological laws (...) must be safeguarded, i.e., the relations between the quantities which are their concomitants must also be satisfied by their statistical representatives. Given the generic statistical formalism and specifically thatU=〈H〉, δW=−〈δH〉, the problem is soluble, granted the following generic assumption: “the statistical representative of the entropy is the ensemble mean of a function which depends upon the phase through φ alone.”. (shrink)
A unified axiomatic theory that embraces both mechanics and thermodynamics is presented in three parts. It is based on four postulates; three are taken from quantum mechanics, and the fourth is the new disclosure of the existence of quantum states that are stable (Part I). For nonequilibrium and equilibrium states, the theory provides general original results, such as the relation between irreducible density operators and the maximum work that can be extracted adiabatically (Part IIa). For stable equilibrium states, it (...) shows for the first time that the canonical and grand canonical distributions are the only stable distributions (Part IIb). The theory discloses the incompleteness of the equation of motion of quantum mechanics not only for irreversible processes but, more significantly, for reversible processes (Part IIb). It establishes the operational meaning of an irreducible density operator and irreducible dispersions associated with any state, and reveals the relationship between such dispersions and the second law (Part III). (shrink)
A new axiomatic treatment of equilibrium thermodynamics—thermostatics—is presented. The equilibrium states of a thermal system are assumed to be represented by a differentiable manifold of dimensionn + 1 (n finite). The empirical temperature is defined by the notion of thermal equilibrium. Empirical entropy is shown to exist for all systems with the property that the total work delivered along closed adiabats is zero. Absolute entropy and temperature follow from the additivity of heat and energy for two separate systems in (...) thermal equilibrium considered as a whole. The absolute temperature is defined up to a multiplicative constant. The exterior differentiable calculus of Cartan is introduced and in a subsequent paper its use for the derivation of standard results in thermostatics will be explained. (shrink)
An attempt is made to clarify a thought experiment introduced by P. T. Landsberg concerning the relativistic heat flow between bodies in relative motion. It is shown that if the problem is analyzed within the covariant thermodynamics developed by R. Balescu, supplemented by the second law of thermodynamics as proposed here, then such heat flow considerations do not fix the transformation of temperature as Landsberg contends. Instead, the transformation of temperature is left as being purely a matter of (...) definition. (shrink)
The thermodynamics of averaged motion treats the asymptotic spatiotemporal evolution of nonlinear irreversible processes. Dissipative and conservative actions are associated with short and long spatiotemporal scales, respectively. The motion of asymptotically stable systems is slow, monotonic, and continuous, so that the microscopic state variable description of rapid motion can be supplanted by an analysis of the macroscopic variable equations of motion of amplitude and phase. Rapid motion is associated with instability, and the direction of system motion is determined by (...) thermodynamic criteria, in place of an analysis of the microscopic equations of motion. The characteristic structural configurations, deduced from the extremum principles of partial differential equations, are compared with the thermodynamic criteria. As a result of the nature of asymptotic motion, variational principles exist which characterize the asymptotic states of the system. (shrink)
Moulines in his "A Logical Reconstruction of Simple Equilibrium Thermodynamics" shows that Sneedian constraints play an essential role even in the purely theoretical development of the mathematical formalism of at least one actual scientific theory. However, Moulines' treatment is apparently inconsistent because of the way he represents constraints. A very simple non-Sneedian way of representing constraints is given which removes the difficulty.
This paper presents a new foundation of equilibrium thermodynamics based on certain ideas of T. Ehrenfest. The main result is the proof for the existence of entropy as a consequence of the conservation of energy for conservative thermal systems.
Concepts of stability and symmetry in irreversible thermodynamics are developed through the analysis of system energy flows. The excess power function, derived from a local energy conservation equation, is shown to yield necessary and sufficient stability criteria for linear and nonlinear irreversible processes. In the absence of symmetry-destroying external forces, the linear range may be characterized by a set of phenomenological coefficient symmetries relating coupled forces and displacements, velocities, and accelerations, whereas rotational phenomena in nonlinear processes may be characterized (...) by skew-symmetric components of the phenomenological coefficients. A physical interpretation of the nature of the skew-symmetric parts is given and the variational principle of minimum dissipation of energy is related to a stability criterion. (shrink)
Thermodynamic implications of anisotropic gas-surface interactions in a closed molecular flow cavity are examined. Anisotropy at the microscopic scale, such as might be caused by reduced-dimensionality surfaces, is shown to lead to reversibility at the macroscopic scale. The possibility of a self-sustaining nonequilibrium stationary state induced by surface anisotropy is demonstrated that simultaneously satisfies flux balance, conservation of momentum, and conservation of energy. Conversely, it is also shown that the second law of thermodynamics prohibits anisotropic gas-surface interactions in “equilibrium”, (...) even for reduced dimensionality surfaces. This is particularly startling because reduced dimensionality surfaces are known to exhibit a plethora of anisotropic properties. That gas-surface interactions would be excluded from these anisotropic properties is completely counterintuitive from a causality perspective. These results provide intriguing insights into the second law of thermodynamics and its relation to gas-surface interaction physics. (shrink)