Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp 1–16

Stability and entropy production in electrical circuits

  • R. Landauer

DOI: 10.1007/BF01012596

Cite this article as:
Landauer, R. J Stat Phys (1975) 13: 1. doi:10.1007/BF01012596


A number of the theorems expounded by Prigogine, Glansdorff and their collaborators are translated into electrical circuit terminology and their validity and significance discussed. The simultaneous occurrence of inductors and capacitors represents a situation not envisioned in the chemically oriented discussions and imposes some limitations. The electrical terminology also leads to “dual” theorems, in which voltage sources are replaced by current sources. The validity of the theorems in situations in which fluctuations are critical to the relaxation behavior is analyzed. The “excess entropy production” theorem is only valid if the circuit relaxation can be described by single-valued macroscopic variables, but not if it must be described by distribution functions. We stress that no purely local characterization, which examines a multistable system only in the neighborhoods where it occurs with high probability, can predict or characterize the steady state.

Key words

Electrical circuitentropy productionstabilitybistabilityfluctuations

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Landauer
    • 1
  1. 1.IBM Thomas J. Watson Research CenterYorktown Heights