Special Issue "Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2013)
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
Interests: fundamental laws of nature; thermodynamics and heat transfer fundamentals; the second law of thermodynamics and entropy; energy efficiency; conservation and sustainability; fluids-thermal-energy components and systems; nanotechnology and nanofluids
The goal of this special issue is to put certain physical and philosophical concepts in perspective, to revisit the fundamentals of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and concept of Entropy, as well as to initiate discussion and constructive criticism about these fundamental concepts, including some recent challenges of the Second Law.
The Second Law of Thermodynamics is among the most fundamental principles of engineering, science and nature. It provides conditions and limits for forced, directional displacement of mass-energy in space and time, thus governs all processes in nature. Since its discovery more than one-and-a-half century ago, its status is generally considered supreme.
Sadi Carnot’s ingenious reasoning of reversible processes and cycles (1824) laid foundations for The Second Law before The First Law of energy conservation was even known (Joule 1843) and long before Thermodynamic concepts were established in 1850s. A century later, Bridgman (1941) ‘complained’ that “there are almost as many formulations of The Second Law as there have been discussions of it.” Von Neumann once remarked that “whoever uses the term ‘entropy’ in a discussion always wins since no one knows what entropy really is, so in a debate one always has the advantage.” Einstein, whose early writings were related to the Second Law, remained convinced throughout his life that “Thermodynamics is the only universal physical theory that will never be refuted.”
There are many puzzling issues surrounding the Second Law and other concepts in Thermodynamics, including subtle definitions and ambiguous meaning of very fundamental concepts. Further confusions are produced by attempts to generalize some of those concepts with similar but not the same concepts in other disciplines, like Thermodynamic Entropy versus other types of entropies.
The Second Law is often challenged in biology, life and social sciences, including evolution and information sciences, all with history rich in confusion. Creation and organization of technical (man-made) and natural (including life) structures and thus ‘creation of local non-equilibrium’ is possible and is always happening in many processes while entropy is generated (never destroyed), using another functional structures (channeling, filtering, hardware/software templates, pumping, devices and tools, information knowledge-‘intelligent’ templates, DNAs, etc.). However, the mass-energy flow (transfer) within those structures will always and everywhere dissipate energy and generate entropy (according to the Second Law!), i.e. on the expense of internal and/or surrounding/boundary systems' non-equilibrium. It may appear that the created non-equilibrium structures are self-organizing from nowhere, from within an equilibrium (thus violating the Second Law), due to the lack of proper observations and ‘accounting’ of all mass-energy flows, the latter maybe in ‘stealth’ form or undetected rate at our state of technology and comprehension (as the science history has taught us many times).
The miracles are until we comprehend and explain them!
We welcome submissions addressing such fundamental issues as well as those on more specific topics illustrating the broad impact of the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the concepts of entropy (property) and entropy generation (as measure of process irreversibility).
Specific topics of interest include (but are not limited to):
• Carnot cycle and heat engine fundamentals and applications
• Reversibility and Irreversibility
• Thermodynamic temperature
• Entropy fundamentals and Clausius Equality and Inequality
• Non-equilibrium processes and ‘entropy generation’
• Work availability and Exergy
• Second Law of Thermodynamics – concept and fundamentals
• Equivalency of different Second Law statements
• Second Law and Statistical Thermodynamics
• Second Law and Quantum theory
• Perpetual motion of the second kind
• Maxwell’s Demon and other challenges
It is hoped that this special issue will inspire and motivate the scientists and practitioners to revisit important and critical issues related to the Second Law of Thermodynamics as one among the most if not the most relevant fundamental laws of nature.
Prof. M. Kostic
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.