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Time and Irreversibility in axiomatic thermodynamics

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Category
General Reference
author-supplied keywords
keywords
authors
Robert Marsland III
Harvey R. Brown
Giovanni Valente
title
Time and Irreversibility in axiomatic thermodynamics
year
2015
source
American Journal of Physics
pages
628
volume
83

Abstract

Thermodynamics is the paradigm example in physics of a time-asymmetric theory, but the origin of the asymmetry lies deeper than the second law. A primordial arrow can be defined by the way of the equilibration principle (“minus first law”). By appealing to this arrow, the nature of the well-known ambiguity in Carathéodory's 1909 version of the second law becomes clear. Following Carathéodory's seminal work, formulations of thermodynamics have gained ground that highlight the role of the binary relation of adiabatic accessibility between equilibrium states, the most prominent recent example being the important 1999 axiomatization due to Lieb and Yngvason. This formulation can be shown to contain an ambiguity strictly analogous to that in Carathéodory's treatment.

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