Entropy and the Time Evolution of Macroscopic Systems

Paperback | June 28, 2012

byWalter T. Grandy, Jr.

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This book is based on the premise that the entropy concept, a fundamental element of probability theory as logic, governs all of thermal physics, both equilibrium and nonequilibrium. The variational algorithm of J. Willard Gibbs, dating from the 19th Century and extended considerably over thefollowing 100 years, is shown to be the governing feature over the entire range of thermal phenomena, such that only the nature of the macroscopic constraints changes. Beginning with a short history of the development of the entropy concept by Rudolph Clausius and his predecessors, along with the formalization of classical thermodynamics by Gibbs, the first part of the book describes the quest to uncover the meaning of thermodynamic entropy, which leads to itsrelationship with probability and information as first envisioned by Ludwig Boltzmann. Recognition of entropy first of all as a fundamental element of probability theory in mid-twentieth Century led to deep insights into both statistical mechanics and thermodynamics, the details of which arepresented here in several chapters. The later chapters extend these ideas to nonequilibrium statistical mechanics in an unambiguous manner, thereby exhibiting the overall unifying role of the entropy.

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This book is based on the premise that the entropy concept, a fundamental element of probability theory as logic, governs all of thermal physics, both equilibrium and nonequilibrium. The variational algorithm of J. Willard Gibbs, dating from the 19th Century and extended considerably over thefollowing 100 years, is shown to be the gove...

Walter T. Grandy, Jr. is a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Wyoming.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pagesPublished:June 28, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019965543X

ISBN - 13:9780199655434

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Some Clarification from Another Direction3. The Probability Connection4. Equilibrium Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics5. The Presumed Extensivity of Entropy6. Nonequilibrium States7. Steady-State Processes8. Sources and Time-Dependent Proceses9. Thermal Driving10. Application to Fluid Dynamics11. Irreversibility, Relaxation, and the Approach to Equilibrium12. Entropy Production and Dissipation RatesA. Perturbation TheoryB. Dissipative Currents and Galilean InvarianceC. Analytic Continuation of Covariance Functions

Editorial Reviews

"Written in an accessible style, the book makes numerous little-known connections between macroscopic and microscopic expressions for entropy and entropy production...Filled with many examples, Grandys thought-provoking exposition will be of interest for years to come. I would recommend it toany serious student of statistical physics." --Physics Today