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

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

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)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: 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
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MDPI and ACS Style

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.

AMA Style

Allahverdyan AE, Balian R, Nieuwenhuizen TM. Thomson's formulation of the second law for macroscopic and finite work sources. Entropy. 2004; 6(1):30-37.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Allahverdyan, Armen E.; Balian, Roger; Nieuwenhuizen, Theo M. 2004. "Thomson's formulation of the second law for macroscopic and finite work sources." Entropy 6, no. 1: 30-37.

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