Preprint Article Version 1 This version not peer reviewed

The Second Law Of Thermodynamics as a Force Law

Version 1 : Received: 8 February 2018 / Approved: 8 February 2018 / Online: 8 February 2018 (18:14:41 CET)

How to cite: Schlitter, J. The Second Law Of Thermodynamics as a Force Law. Preprints 2018, 2018020074 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0074.v1). Schlitter, J. The Second Law Of Thermodynamics as a Force Law. Preprints 2018, 2018020074 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201802.0074.v1).

Abstract

The second law of thermodynamics states the increase of entropy, Delta S > 0, for real processes from state A to state B at constant energy from chemistry over biological life and engines to cosmic events. The connection of entropy to information, phase-space and heat is helpful, but does not immediately convince observers of the validity and basis of the second law. This gave grounds for finding a rigorous, but more easily acceptable reformulation. Here we show using statistical mechanics that this principle is equivalent to a force law ⟨⟨f⟩⟩> 0 in systems where mass centres and forces can be identified. The sign of this net force - the average mean force along a path from A to B - determines the direction of the process. The force law applies to a wide range of processes from machines to chemical reactions. The explanation of irreversibility by a driving force appears more plausible than the traditional formulation as it emphasizes the cause instead of the effect of motions.

Subject Areas

statistical mechanics; irreversibility; arrow of time; chemical dynamics

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