Infinite Time Irreversible Processes

José C. Íñiguez


Through a thermodynamic argument based on Planck’s as well as the total entropy irreversibility criterions it is possible to prove that contrary to common wisdom, infinite-time irreversible processes constituted by a succession of equilibrium states in which all the thermodynamic properties are defined and quantifiable, are possible. As such, these irreversible processes are capable of graphical representation in thermodynamic state space. It is also shown that these infinite-time irreversible processes are thermodynamically equivalent to their finite-time counterparts. Not only do these results demand a revision of our current conceptualization of irreversibility; they also bring a purely thermodynamic alternative to the postulate of local equilibrium for the thermodynamic analysis of the evolutionary path of irreversible processes.

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International Journal of Chemistry   ISSN 1916-9698 (Print)   ISSN 1916-9701 (Online)

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