Special Issue "Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2016).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Daniel P. Sheehan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
University of San Diego, San Diego, California
Tel. 1-619-260-4095
Interests: the second law of thermodynamics; retrocausation; nanotechnology; plantary formation; plasma physics
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will collect a limited number of selected papers presented at the symposium “Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory” at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Division of the AAAS, which was held at the University of San Diego, CA, USA, 14–17 June, 2016. Symposium web site: http://associations.sou.edu/aaaspd/2016SANDIEGO/Symposia16.htm.

The second law of thermodynamics is foundational to science, engineering and technology. During the past two decades, more than two dozen challenges to it have been advanced into the general scientific literature by research groups worldwide. In recent years, several have undergone laboratory test, their results indicating the second law might not be universal. In this symposium, the current experimental and theoretical status of the second law were explored.

Topics included Maxwell's demon, recent experimentally-testable second law challenges, quantum decoherence, the arrow of time, black holes, and developments in the theory of nonequilibrium systems. Special attention was paid to theories and experiments addressing the question of the second law's universality.

Prof. Dr. Daniel P. Sheehan
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
The Two-Time Interpretation and Macroscopic Time-Reversibility
Entropy 2017, 19(3), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19030111 - 12 Mar 2017
Cited by 15
Abstract
The two-state vector formalism motivates a time-symmetric interpretation of quantum mechanics that entails a resolution of the measurement problem. We revisit a post-selection-assisted collapse model previously suggested by us, claiming that unlike the thermodynamic arrow of time, it can lead to reversible dynamics [...] Read more.
The two-state vector formalism motivates a time-symmetric interpretation of quantum mechanics that entails a resolution of the measurement problem. We revisit a post-selection-assisted collapse model previously suggested by us, claiming that unlike the thermodynamic arrow of time, it can lead to reversible dynamics at the macroscopic level. In addition, the proposed scheme enables us to characterize the classical-quantum boundary. We discuss the limitations of this approach and its broad implications for other areas of physics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Admitting Spontaneous Violations of the Second Law in Continuum Thermomechanics
Entropy 2017, 19(2), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19020078 - 21 Feb 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
We survey new extensions of continuum mechanics incorporating spontaneous violations of the Second Law (SL), which involve the viscous flow and heat conduction. First, following an account of the Fluctuation Theorem (FT) of statistical mechanics that generalizes the SL, the irreversible entropy is [...] Read more.
We survey new extensions of continuum mechanics incorporating spontaneous violations of the Second Law (SL), which involve the viscous flow and heat conduction. First, following an account of the Fluctuation Theorem (FT) of statistical mechanics that generalizes the SL, the irreversible entropy is shown to evolve as a submartingale. Next, a stochastic thermomechanics is formulated consistent with the FT, which, according to a revision of classical axioms of continuum mechanics, must be set up on random fields. This development leads to a reformulation of thermoviscous fluids and inelastic solids. These two unconventional constitutive behaviors may jointly occur in nano-poromechanics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
Open AccessArticle
Implementing Demons and Ratchets
Entropy 2017, 19(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19010034 - 14 Jan 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Experimental results show that ratchets may be implemented in semiconductor and chemical systems, bypassing the second law and opening up huge gains in energy production. This paper summarizes or describes experiments and results on systems that effect demons and ratchets operating in chemical [...] Read more.
Experimental results show that ratchets may be implemented in semiconductor and chemical systems, bypassing the second law and opening up huge gains in energy production. This paper summarizes or describes experiments and results on systems that effect demons and ratchets operating in chemical or electrical domains. One creates temperature differences that can be harvested by a heat engine. A second produces light with only heat input. A third produces harvestable electrical potential directly. These systems share creating particles in one location, destroying them in another and moving them between locations by diffusion (Brownian motion). All absorb ambient heat as they produce other energy forms. None requires an external hot and cold side. The economic and social impacts of these conversions of ambient heat to work are, of course, well-understood and huge. The experimental results beg for serious work on the chance that they are valid. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Second Law Analysis of Nanofluid Flow within a Circular Minichannel Considering Nanoparticle Migration
Entropy 2016, 18(10), 378; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18100378 - 21 Oct 2016
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the current research, entropy generation for the water–alumina nanofluid flow is studied in a circular minichannel for the laminar regime under constant wall heat flux in order to evaluate irreversibilities arising from friction and heat transfer. To this end, simulations are carried [...] Read more.
In the current research, entropy generation for the water–alumina nanofluid flow is studied in a circular minichannel for the laminar regime under constant wall heat flux in order to evaluate irreversibilities arising from friction and heat transfer. To this end, simulations are carried out considering the particle migration effects. Due to particle migration, the nanoparticles incorporate non-uniform distribution at the cross-section of the pipe, such that the concentration is larger at central areas. The concentration non-uniformity increases by augmenting the mean concentration, particle size, and Reynolds number. The rates of entropy generation are evaluated both locally and globally (integrated). The obtained results show that particle migration changes the thermal and frictional entropy generation rates significantly, particularly at high Reynolds numbers, large concentrations, and coarser particles. Hence, this phenomenon should be considered in examinations related to energy in the field of nanofluids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
Coupled Thermoelectric Devices: Theory and Experiment
Entropy 2016, 18(7), 255; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18070255 - 14 Jul 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
In this paper, we address theoretically and experimentally the optimization problem of the heat transfer occurring in two coupled thermoelectric devices. A simple experimental set up is used. The optimization parameters are the applied electric currents. When one thermoelectric is analysed, the temperature [...] Read more.
In this paper, we address theoretically and experimentally the optimization problem of the heat transfer occurring in two coupled thermoelectric devices. A simple experimental set up is used. The optimization parameters are the applied electric currents. When one thermoelectric is analysed, the temperature difference Δ T between the thermoelectric boundaries shows a parabolic profile with respect to the applied electric current. This behaviour agrees qualitatively with the corresponding experimental measurement. The global entropy generation shows a monotonous increase with the electric current. In the case of two coupled thermoelectric devices, elliptic isocontours for Δ T are obtained in applying an electric current through each of the thermoelectrics. The isocontours also fit well with measurements. Optimal figure of merit is found for a specific set of values of the applied electric currents. The entropy generation-thermal figure of merit relationship is studied. It is shown that, given a value of the thermal figure of merit, the device can be operated in a state of minimum entropy production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Maxwell’s Demon—A Historical Review
Entropy 2017, 19(6), 240; https://doi.org/10.3390/e19060240 - 23 May 2017
Cited by 5
Abstract
For more than 140 years Maxwell’s demon has intrigued, enlightened, mystified, frustrated, and challenged physicists in unique and interesting ways. Maxwell’s original conception was brilliant and insightful, but over the years numerous different versions of Maxwell’s demon have been presented. Most versions have [...] Read more.
For more than 140 years Maxwell’s demon has intrigued, enlightened, mystified, frustrated, and challenged physicists in unique and interesting ways. Maxwell’s original conception was brilliant and insightful, but over the years numerous different versions of Maxwell’s demon have been presented. Most versions have been answered with reasonable physical arguments, with each of these answers (apparently) keeping the second law of thermodynamics intact. Though the laws of physics did not change in this process of questioning and answering, we have learned a lot along the way about statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. This paper will review a selected history and discuss some of the interesting historical characters who have participated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Limits to the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Experiment and Theory)
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