Special Issue "Maximum Entropy Production"
A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 October 2013).
Interests: Bayesian and maximum entropy methods for the analysis of engineering and scientific systems; theoretical foundations of Bayesian inference, Bayesian estimation and plausible reasoning; entropy-based inference and extremum methods; Bayesian risk assessment; heuristics and methods for the selection of prior probabilities; probabilistic transport and evolution equations and operators
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There is at present a strong and growing interest in extremum principles based on the thermodynamic entropy production (and allied concepts), for the analysis of non-equilibrium (flow) systems of all types. This perspective was initiated by seminal contributions by Helmholtz, Rayleigh, Jaumann and many others in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and significantly advanced by the linear theory of Onsager during the 1930s to 1950s, with its accompanying Curie postulate. A minimum entropy production (MinEP) principle, for the selection of the stationary (steady state) flow from a set of non-steady flows, was developed by Prigogine in the 1960s. A maximum entropy production (MaxEP) principle or hypothesis was developed empirically by Paltridge and later workers from the 1970s, for the construction of planetary heat transfer models. While seemingly opposite to Prigogine's concept, this MaxEP hypothesis has a different purpose: it seeks to select the observable steady state from a set of physically possible but unrealised steady states. A separate, allied framework of maximum dissipation or MaxEP methods was also developed by Zeigler from the 1970s, mainly for the analysis of solid and thermodynamic continua. More recently, a wide range of additional MinEP, MaxEP and allied variational principles and/or empiricisms have been proposed, and in some cases derived on theoretical grounds. Many of the theoretical studies invoke the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method developed by Jaynes, as the starting point or primary tool of their analysis.
MaxEP methods have now been invoked or applied to the analysis of an extraordinarily broad assortment of non-equilibrium phenomena. These include: convective heat transfer systems (including Benard cells and planetary atmospheric, mantle and core convective phenomena); coupled planetary biogeochemical and geological processes and the development of planetary ecosystems (with connections to origins and evolution of life); the development of local biochemical processes and ecosystems over molecular to regional scales (including prediction of their properties); crystal nucleation, growth and the development of mineral assemblages in chemical and geological systems; engineering mechanics, plastic deformation and fracture mechanics in solid continua (with application to earthquake frequency prediction and modelling); viscous, turbulent and electromagnetic dissipation and the phenomenon of turbulence in liquids, gases and plasmas; the analysis and optimisation of flow networks of all types (including of electrical, fluid, traffic, communications signal and other quantities, and of chemical reaction systems); and the analysis and prediction of human transport, communication, industrial, economic, technological, political and social systems.
As demonstrated by several recent contributions to the published literature and earnest discussions in major conferences, there is still considerable controversy over both the theoretical foundations and application of entropy production extremum principles. Many of the definitions and purpose of such concepts - for example, whether they are applicable only to stationary states or can be extended to transient phenomena, or whether they concern closed or open systems - remain in confusion. Many highly respected researchers throughout the sciences and engineering remain sceptical of the very existence, or at least the methodological toolkit, precision or technical rigour of application of such methods. For this special issue, we therefore seek additional, defensible, technically rigorous contributions to this field, spanning all possible theoretical approaches, as well as the application of such methods to all possible observable systems. In so doing, we seek to resolve some of the controversies in this very broad field, and to clarify the content and purpose of the "working knowledge" of this field.
We therefore welcome your contributions to this special issue.
Dr. Robert K. Niven
Manuscript Submission Information
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- entropy production
- maximum entropy production
- minimum entropy production
- maximum entropy
- maximum relative entropy
- non-equilibrium thermodynamics
- dissipative structure
- thermodynamic force
- thermodynamic gradient
- chemical reaction network
- fluid mechanics