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Entropy 2004, 6(1), 30-37; doi:10.3390/e6010030

Thomson's formulation of the second law for macroscopic and finite work sources

1,2,* , 3,*  and 1,*
1 Institute for Theoretical Physics, Valckenierstraat 65, 1018 XE Amsterdam, Netherlands 2 Yerevan Physics Institute, Alikhanian Brothers St. 2, Yerevan 375036, Armenia 3 PhT, CEA-Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette cedex, France
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 August 2003 / Accepted: 30 December 2003 / Published: 18 March 2004
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Quantum Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Thomson's formulation of the second law states: no work can be extracted from an equilibrium system through a cyclic process. A simple, general proof is presented for the case of macroscopic sources of work. Next the setup is generalized towards situations, where the corresponding work-source is not macroscopic. It is shown that using such a source one can extract energy from an equilibrium system by means of a cyclic process. However, this extraction is accompanied by an entropy increase of the source, in a manner resembling the Clausius inequality.
Keywords: second law; work; entropy second law; work; entropy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Allahverdyan, A.E.; Balian, R.; Nieuwenhuizen, T.M. Thomson's formulation of the second law for macroscopic and finite work sources. Entropy 2004, 6, 30-37.

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