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Special Issue "Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Milivoje M. Kostic

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
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

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There’s as many formulations of the second law as there have been discussions of it.”

Percy Bridgman, The Nature of Thermodynamics (1941).

This is because the Second Law of thermodynamics is ubiquitous and universal, among the most fundamental laws of nature. However, and furthermore, the true equivalency of the different formulations could be established and thus proven, rendering the Second Law to be universal and valid without exceptions: in closed and open systems, in equilibrium and non-equilibrium, in inanimate and animate systems—that is, in all space and time scales. Its causational simplicity is defining the forceful directionality and thus irreversibility of the spontaneous mass-energy flows in nature, from higher to lower potential towards mutual equilibrium. Spontaneity implies forced-directionality and in turn irreversibility. The Second law provides conditions and limits for process forcing, i.e., transfer of mass-energy direction and limit.

After editing the Special Issue, "Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" in 2013, and reviewing and reflecting on related publications and activities, including ever growing attempts to challenge the Second Law, it is evident that the further exploration of the Second law of thermodynamics is more than justified. The goals of this Special Issue are to put certain physical and philosophical concepts in perspective, to initiate further discussion and constructive criticism about these fundamental concepts, including some recent challenges, as well as to revisit and further comprehend the very fundamentals of the Second Law of thermodynamics.

The phenomenological Laws of Thermodynamics have much wider, including philosophical significance and implications, than their simple expressions based on the experimental observations – they are The Fundamental Laws of Nature: The Zeroth (equilibrium existentialism), the First (conservational transformationalism), the Second (forced, irreversible-directional transformationalism), and the Third (unattainability of 'emptiness'). These Laws are defining and unifying our comprehension of all existence and transformations in the universe.

The Second Law of thermodynamics is among the most fundamental principles of engineering, science and nature. Since its discovery more than one-and-a-half century ago, its status is generally considered supreme. It can and should be challenged, but cannot be violated.

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 the 1850s. 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 the very fundamental concepts.

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 artificial 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 flows (transfers) 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.

We welcome submissions addressing these 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 (as system 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
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 1500 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.

Keywords

  • Carnot cycle
  • heat engine
  • reversibility
  • irreversibility
  • thermodynamic temperature
  • entropy
  • entropy generation
  • Clausius equality, 
  • Clausius inequality
  • non-equilibrium
  • work availability
  • exergy
  • Second Law of thermodynamics
  • equivalency of the Second Law statements
  • statistical thermodynamics
  • Second Law in quantum theory
  • perpetual motion of the second kind
  • Maxwell’s Demon

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial Entropy Generation Results of Convenience But without Purposeful Analysis and Due Comprehension—Guidelines for Authors
Entropy 2016, 18(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18010028
Received: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (135 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing trend in recently-submitted manuscripts and publications to present calculated results of entropy generation, also known as entropy production, as field quantities in a system or device control volume, based on prior calculation of velocity and temperature fields, frequently using
[...] Read more.
There is a growing trend in recently-submitted manuscripts and publications to present calculated results of entropy generation, also known as entropy production, as field quantities in a system or device control volume, based on prior calculation of velocity and temperature fields, frequently using CFD numerical methods. [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Mechanothermodynamic Entropy and Analysis of Damage State of Complex Systems
Entropy 2016, 18(7), 268; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18070268
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 29 June 2016 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (9040 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Mechanics from its side and thermodynamics from its side consider evolution of complex systems, including the Universe. Created classical thermodynamic theory of evolution has one important drawback since it predicts an inevitable heat death of the Universe which is unlikely to take place
[...] Read more.
Mechanics from its side and thermodynamics from its side consider evolution of complex systems, including the Universe. Created classical thermodynamic theory of evolution has one important drawback since it predicts an inevitable heat death of the Universe which is unlikely to take place according to the modern perceptions. The attempts to create a generalized theory of evolution in mechanics were unsuccessful since mechanical equations do not discriminate between future and past. It is natural that the union of mechanics and thermodynamics was difficult to realize since they are based on different methodology. We make an attempt to propose a generalized theory of evolution which is based on the concept of tribo-fatigue entropy. Essence of the proposed approach is that tribo-fatigue entropy is determined by the processes of damageability conditioned by thermodynamic and mechanical effects causing to the change of states of any systems. Law of entropy increase is formulated analytically in the general form. Mechanothermodynamical function is constructed for specific case of fatigue damage of materials due to variation of temperature from 3 K to 0.8 of melting temperature basing on the analysis of 136 experimental results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Nonlinear Thermodynamic Analysis and Optimization of a Carnot Engine Cycle
Entropy 2016, 18(7), 243; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18070243
Received: 1 April 2016 / Revised: 14 June 2016 / Accepted: 23 June 2016 / Published: 28 June 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (675 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As part of the efforts to unify the various branches of Irreversible Thermodynamics, the proposed work reconsiders the approach of the Carnot engine taking into account the finite physical dimensions (heat transfer conductances) and the finite speed of the piston. The models introduce
[...] Read more.
As part of the efforts to unify the various branches of Irreversible Thermodynamics, the proposed work reconsiders the approach of the Carnot engine taking into account the finite physical dimensions (heat transfer conductances) and the finite speed of the piston. The models introduce the irreversibility of the engine by two methods involving different constraints. The first method introduces the irreversibility by a so-called irreversibility ratio in the entropy balance applied to the cycle, while in the second method it is emphasized by the entropy generation rate. Various forms of heat transfer laws are analyzed, but most of the results are given for the case of the linear law. Also, individual cases are studied and reported in order to provide a simple analytical form of the results. The engine model developed allowed a formal optimization using the calculus of variations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Thermodynamic Analysis of Resources Used in Thermal Spray Processes: Energy and Exergy Methods
Entropy 2016, 18(7), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18070237
Received: 31 March 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 17 June 2016 / Published: 24 June 2016
PDF Full-text (1230 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In manufacturing, thermal spray technology encompasses a group of coating processes that provide functional surfaces to improve the performance of the components and protect them from corrosion, wear, heat and other failings. Many types and forms of feedstock can be thermal sprayed, and
[...] Read more.
In manufacturing, thermal spray technology encompasses a group of coating processes that provide functional surfaces to improve the performance of the components and protect them from corrosion, wear, heat and other failings. Many types and forms of feedstock can be thermal sprayed, and each requires different process conditions and life cycle preparations. The required thermal energy is generated by a chemical (combustion) or electrical (plasma/or arc) energy source. Due to high inefficiencies associated with energy and material consumption in this process, a comprehensive resources used analysis for a sustainable improvement has always been promising. This study aims to identify and compare the influence of using different forms of feedstock (powder, suspension) as well as energy sources (combustion, plasma) on efficiency and effectiveness of energy conversion and resources consumption for different thermal spray processes based on energy and exergy analysis. Exergy destruction ratio and effectiveness efficiency are used to evaluate the energy conversion efficiency. The degree of perfection and degree of energy ratio are applied to account for the intensity of resources consumption (energy or material) in thermal spray processes. It is indicated that high velocity suspension flame spray has the lowest effectiveness efficiency and the highest exergy destruction compared to other thermal spray processes. For resource accounting purposes, in general, suspension thermal spray showed the lower degree of perfection and accordingly the higher inefficiency of resources used compared to powder thermal spray. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Entropic Measure of Time, and Gas Expansion in Vacuum
Entropy 2016, 18(6), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18060233
Received: 29 March 2016 / Revised: 31 May 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 21 June 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (845 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The study considers advantages of the introduced measure of time based on the entropy change under irreversible processes (entropy production). Using the example of non-equilibrium expansion of an ideal gas in vacuum, such a measure is introduced. It is shown that, in the
[...] Read more.
The study considers advantages of the introduced measure of time based on the entropy change under irreversible processes (entropy production). Using the example of non-equilibrium expansion of an ideal gas in vacuum, such a measure is introduced. It is shown that, in the general case, this measure of time proves to be nonlinearly related to the reference measure assumed uniform by convention. The connection between this result and the results of other authors investigating the measure of time in some biological and cosmological problems is noted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Investigation of Thermal Radiation and Viscous Effects on Entropy Generation in Forced Convection Blood Flow over an Axisymmetric Stretching Sheet
Entropy 2016, 18(6), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18060203
Received: 21 March 2016 / Revised: 12 May 2016 / Accepted: 13 May 2016 / Published: 24 May 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Numerical and analytical investigation of the effects of thermal radiation and viscous heating on a convective flow of a non-Newtonian, incompressible fluid in an axisymmetric stretching sheet with constant temperature wall is performed. The power law model of the blood is used for
[...] Read more.
Numerical and analytical investigation of the effects of thermal radiation and viscous heating on a convective flow of a non-Newtonian, incompressible fluid in an axisymmetric stretching sheet with constant temperature wall is performed. The power law model of the blood is used for the non-Newtonian model of the fluid and the Rosseland model for the thermal radiative heat transfer in an absorbing medium and viscous heating are considered as the heat sources. The non-dimensional governing equations are transformed to similarity form and solved numerically. A parameter study on entropy generation in medium is presented based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics by considering various parameters such as the thermal radiation parameter, the Brinkman number, Prandtl number, Eckert number. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle From Steam Engines to Chemical Reactions: Gibbs’ Contribution to the Extension of the Second Law
Entropy 2016, 18(5), 162; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18050162
Received: 23 March 2016 / Revised: 19 April 2016 / Accepted: 21 April 2016 / Published: 28 April 2016
PDF Full-text (1595 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present work analyzes the foundations of Gibbs’ thermodynamic equilibrium theory, with the general aim of understanding how the Second Law—as formulated by Clausius in 1865—has been embodied into Gibbs’ formal system and extended to processes involving chemical reactions. We show that Gibbs’
[...] Read more.
The present work analyzes the foundations of Gibbs’ thermodynamic equilibrium theory, with the general aim of understanding how the Second Law—as formulated by Clausius in 1865—has been embodied into Gibbs’ formal system and extended to processes involving chemical reactions. We show that Gibbs’ principle of maximal entropy (and minimal energy) is the implicit expression of Clausius’ Second Law. In addition, by making explicit some implicit passages of Gibbs logical path, we provide an original formal justification of Gibbs’ principle. Finally we provide an analysis of how Gibbs’ principle—conceived for homogeneous isolated systems with fixed chemical composition—has come to be applied to systems entailing chemical transformations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Second Law Analysis of Adiabatic and Non-Adiabatic Pipeline Flows of Unstable and Surfactant-Stabilized Emulsions
Entropy 2016, 18(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18040113
Received: 17 December 2015 / Revised: 5 March 2016 / Accepted: 25 March 2016 / Published: 30 March 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (11267 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Entropy generation, and hence exergy destruction, in adiabatic flow of unstable and surfactant-stabilized emulsions was investigated experimentally in different diameter pipes. Four types of emulsion systems are investigated covering a broad range of the dispersed-phase concentration: (a) unstable oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions without surfactant;
[...] Read more.
Entropy generation, and hence exergy destruction, in adiabatic flow of unstable and surfactant-stabilized emulsions was investigated experimentally in different diameter pipes. Four types of emulsion systems are investigated covering a broad range of the dispersed-phase concentration: (a) unstable oil-in-water (O/W) emulsions without surfactant; (b) surfactant-stabilized O/W emulsions; (c) unstable water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions without surfactant; and (d) surfactant-stabilized W/O emulsions. The entropy generation rate per unit pipe length is affected by the type of the emulsion as well as its stability. Unstable emulsions without any surfactant present at the interface generate less entropy in the turbulent regime as compared with the surfactant-stabilized emulsions of the same viscosity and density. The effect of surfactant is particularly severe in the case of W/O emulsions. In the turbulent regime, the rate of entropy generation in unstable W/O emulsions is much lower in comparison with that observed in the stable W/O emulsions. A significant delay in the transition from laminar to turbulent regime is also observed in the case of unstable W/O emulsion. Finally, the analysis and simulation results are presented on non-adiabatic pipeline flow of emulsions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Entropy Generation through Deterministic Spiral Structures in Corner Flows with Sidewall Surface Mass Injection
Entropy 2016, 18(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18020047
Received: 3 November 2015 / Revised: 20 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 2 February 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Results are presented for an innovative computational procedure that predicts time-dependent instabilities and deterministic ordered structures in three-dimensional steady-state laminar boundary-layer flows. The flow configuration considered is a corner flow with sidewall surface mass injection into a horizontal boundary-layer flow. The equations for
[...] Read more.
Results are presented for an innovative computational procedure that predicts time-dependent instabilities and deterministic ordered structures in three-dimensional steady-state laminar boundary-layer flows. The flow configuration considered is a corner flow with sidewall surface mass injection into a horizontal boundary-layer flow. The equations for the velocity fluctuations are cast into a spectral Lorenz-type format and incorporated into the overall computational procedure for the three-dimensional flow. The non-linear time-dependent solutions of the spectral equations predict deterministic spectral ordered structures within spiral structures. Spectral analysis of these fluctuating solutions yields the resulting entropy generation rates resulting from the dissipation of the ordered structures. The results for the entropy generation rates indicate the prediction of a strong burst of ordered structures within the range of injection velocities studied. This new computational method is applicable to only selected thermal design processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Entropy Assessment on Direct Contact Condensation of Subsonic Steam Jets in a Water Tank through Numerical Investigation
Entropy 2016, 18(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/e18010021
Received: 1 October 2015 / Revised: 21 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 7 January 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (8509 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The present article analyzes the dissipation characteristics of the direct contact condensation (DCC) phenomenon that occurs when steam is injected into a water tank at a subsonic speed using a new modeling approach for the entropy generation over the calculation domain. The developed
[...] Read more.
The present article analyzes the dissipation characteristics of the direct contact condensation (DCC) phenomenon that occurs when steam is injected into a water tank at a subsonic speed using a new modeling approach for the entropy generation over the calculation domain. The developed entropy assessment model is based on the local equilibrium hypothesis of non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The fluid flow and heat transfer processes are investigated numerically. To describe the condensation and evaporation process at the vapor-liquid interface, a phase change model originated from the kinetic theory of gas is implemented with the mixture model for multiphase flow in the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code ANSYS-FLUENT. The CFD predictions agree well with the published works, which indicates the phase change model combined with the mixture model is a promising way to simulate the DCC phenomenon. In addition, three clear stages as initial stage, developing stage and oscillatory stage are discriminated from both the thermal-hydraulic results and the entropy generation information. During different stages, different proportion of the entropy generation rate owing to heat transfer, viscous direct dissipation, turbulent dissipation and inner phase change in total entropy generation rate is estimated, which is favorable to deeper understanding the irreversibility of DCC phenomenon, designing and optimizing the equipment involved in the process. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Open AccessArticle Local Stability Analysis for a Thermo-Economic Irreversible Heat Engine Model under Different Performance Regimes
Entropy 2015, 17(12), 8019-8030; https://doi.org/10.3390/e17127860
Received: 18 October 2015 / Revised: 16 November 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (510 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
A recent work reported a local stability analysis of a thermo-economical model of an irreversible heat engine working under maximum power conditions. That work showed that after small perturbations to the working temperatures, the system decreases exponentially to the steady state characterized by
[...] Read more.
A recent work reported a local stability analysis of a thermo-economical model of an irreversible heat engine working under maximum power conditions. That work showed that after small perturbations to the working temperatures, the system decreases exponentially to the steady state characterized by two different relaxation times. This work extends the local stability analysis considering other performance regimes: the Maximum Efficient Power (MEP) and the Ecological Function (EF) regimes. The relaxation time was shown under different performance regimes as functions of the temperature ratio τ = T2/T1, with T1 > T2, the fractional fuel cost f and a lumped parameter R related to the internal irreversibilities degree. Under Maximum Efficient Power conditions the relaxation times are less than the relaxation times under both Maximum Ecological function and Maximum Power. At Maximum Power Efficient conditions, the model gives better stability conditions than for the other two regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Exploring the Second Law of Thermodynamics)
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Submitted Papers

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