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Entropy 2015, 17(9), 6304-6317;

Metrics and Energy Landscapes in Irreversible Thermodynamics

Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Academic Editors: George Ruppeiner and Kevin H. Knuth
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geometry in Thermodynamics)
PDF [1012 KB, uploaded 10 September 2015]


We describe how several metrics are possible in thermodynamic state space but that only one, Weinhold’s, has achieved widespread use. Lengths calculated based on this metric have been used to bound dissipation in finite-time (irreversible) processes be they continuous or discrete, and described in the energy picture or the entropy picture. Examples are provided from thermodynamics of heat conversion processes as well as chemical reactions. Even losses in economics can be bounded using a thermodynamic type metric. An essential foundation for the metric is a complete equation of state including all extensive variables of the system; examples are given. Finally, the second law of thermodynamics imposes convexity on any equation of state, be it analytical or empirical. View Full-Text
Keywords: finite-time thermodynamics; metric; bound; energy landscape; convexity finite-time thermodynamics; metric; bound; energy landscape; convexity

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Andresen, B. Metrics and Energy Landscapes in Irreversible Thermodynamics. Entropy 2015, 17, 6304-6317.

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