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Time Evoultion of Entropy in a System Comprised of a Boltzmann Type Gas: An Application of the Beretta Equation of Motion

[+] Author Affiliations
Charles E. Smith, Michael R. von Spakovsky

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. IMECE2007-42933, pp. 493-502; 10 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy Systems: Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability
  • Seattle, Washington, USA, November 11–15, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4300-9 | eISBN: 0-7918-3812-9
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Basing his work on a new formulation of thermodynamics called the Unified Quantum Theory of Mechanics and Thermodynamics first published in a series of four ground breaking papers in 1976 (Hatsopoulos and Gyftopoulos, 1976a, b, c, d), Beretta develops a dynamical postulate (Beretta et al. 1984; Beretta, Gyftopoulos, and Park, 1985) consistent both with the non-dynamical quantum mechanical postulates of the Unified Theory as well as with its thermodynamic ones (the 2nd Law in particular). The theory itself simply and elegantly extends in a unified fashion the concepts of thermodynamics to quantum mechanics and the concepts of quantum mechanics to thermodynamics. It does so without the bridge traditionally used, i.e. statistical mechanics, eliminating a number of the ambiguities, tautologies, and inconsistencies (including a built-in violation of the 2nd Law) inherent in the presentations of both Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics. This new formulation generalizes thermodynamics so that it applies to all systems large or small (including one particle systems) either in a state of thermodynamic (i.e. stable) equilibrium or not in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. The Beretta equation of motion describes the time evolution of the state of a system via a density operator which is uniquely based on an unambiguous preparation of an ensemble of identical systems, i.e. the so-called homogenous or irreducible ensemble, and does so both for unitary and non-unitary reversible as well as irreversible processes. In this paper, we present a simple application of this general equation of motion to the time evolution of the entropy of a closed system comprised of a Boltzmann type gas consisting of one or of many particles undergoing an irreversible process. A number of different energy eigenlevels and initial states and their effects on entropy generation and the final state of maximum entropy, i.e. stable equilibrium, are examined. A simple time-dependent work interaction is introduced into the formulation to show how this in turn affects the evolution of the state of the system.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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