The impossible process: Thermodynamic reversibility


Authors
John D. Norton
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
Standard descriptions of thermodynamically reversible processes attribute contradictory properties to them: they are in equilibrium yet still change their state. Or they are comprised of non-equilibrium states that are so close to equilibrium that the difference does not matter. One cannot have states that both change and no not change at the same time. In place of this internally contradictory characterization, the term “thermodynamically reversible process” is here construed as a label for a set of real processes of change involving only non-equilibrium states. The properties usually attributed to a thermodynamically reversible process are recovered as the limiting properties of this set. No single process, that is, no system undergoing change, equilibrium or otherwise, carries those limiting properties. The paper concludes with an historical survey of characterizations of thermodynamically reversible processes and a critical analysis of their shortcomings.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsb.2016.08.001
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 45,305
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Infinite Idealizations.John D. Norton - 2012 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 17:197-210.
Rational Thermodynamics.C. Truesdell - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (2):305-306.
Can the Second Law Be Compatible with Time Reversal Invariant Dynamics?Leah Henderson - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 47:90-98.

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Towards a Theory of Emergence for the Physical Sciences.Sebastian De Haro - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):38.
Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
The Problem of Equilibrium Processes in Thermodynamics.David A. Lavis - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 62:136-144.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The (Absence of a) Relationship Between Thermodynamic and Logical Reversibility.O. J. E. Maroney - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):355-374.
The Relationship Between Thermodynamic and Logical Reversibility.O. J. E. Maroney - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 36 (2):355-374.
Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow.Alon Drory - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):889-913.
Is There a Reversibility Paradox? Recentering the Debate on the Thermodynamic Time Arrow.Alon Drory - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (4):889-913.
Relativistic Transformations of Thermodynamic Quantities.Noam Agmon - 1977 - Foundations of Physics 7 (5-6):331-339.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-03-06

Total views
5 ( #1,054,638 of 2,279,926 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #559,872 of 2,279,926 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature