We consider nonequilibrium (NEQ) states such as supercooled liquids and glasses that are described with the use of internal variables. We classify the latter by the state-dependent hierarchy of relaxation times to assess their relevance for irreversible contributions. Given an observation time
, we determine the window of relaxation times that divide the internal variables into active and inactive groups, the former playing a central role in the NEQ thermodynamics. Using this thermodynamics, we determine (i) a bound on the NEQ entropy and on the residual entropy and (ii) the nature of the isothermal relaxation of the entropy and the enthalpy in accordance with the second law. A theory that violates the second law such as the entropy loss view is shown to be internally inconsistent if we require it to be consistent with experiments. The inactive internal variables still play an indirect role in determining the temperature
and the pressure
of the system, which deviate from their external values.
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