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Application of Steepest-Entropy-Ascent Quantum Thermodynamics to Predicting Heat and Mass Diffusion From the Atomistic Up to the Macroscopic Level

[+] Author Affiliations
Guanchen Li, Michael R. von Spakovsky

Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. IMECE2015-53581, pp. V06BT07A015; 10 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6B: Energy
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 13–19, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5744-1
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


Conventional first principle approaches for studying non-equilibrium or far-from-equilibrium processes all depend on the mechanics of individual particles or quantum states and as a result, require too many details of the mechanical features of the system to easily or even practically arrive at the value of a macroscopic property. In contrast, thermodynamics, which has been extremely successful in the stable equilibrium realm, provides an approach for determining a macroscopic property without going into the mechanical details. Nonetheless, such a phenomenological approach is not generally applicable to a non-equilibrium process except in the near-equilibrium realm and under the limiting local equilibrium and continuum assumptions, both of which prevent its application across all scales. To address these drawbacks, steepest-entropy-ascent quantum thermodynamics (SEAQT) can be used. It provides an ensemble-based, thermodynamics, first principles approach applicable to the entire non-equilibrium realm even that far-from-equilibrium and does so with a single kinematics and dynamics able to cross all temporal and spatial scales. Based on prior developments by the authors, this paper applies SEAQT to the study of mass and heat diffusion. Specifically, the study focuses on the thermodynamic features of far-from-equilibrium state evolution. Two kinds of size effects on the evolution trajectory, i.e., concentration and volume effects, are discussed.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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