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Theory of Heat pp 344-372 | Cite as

Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes

  • Richard Becker

Abstract

Classical thermodynamics deals only with reversible changes. The meaning of this restriction has been demonstrated in Sect. 6 by the example of a simple Carnot engine. Reversible processes have to be performed “infinitely slowly”. Any real process occurs with a finite velocity and, therefore, is necessarily irreversible. For instance, an exchange of heat between two bodies A and B is possible only if A is warmer than B, or a piston between two gas containers moves only if the pressure in the two containers differs. In both cases the actual process is associated with an increase of entropy. It is a quite strange situation that thermodynamics deals only with reversible processes which conserve the entropy of a closed system, whereas the entropy increases in all actual processes.

Keywords

Entropy Production Thermoelectric Power Irreversible Process Heat Bath Total Entropy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1955

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Becker
    • 1
  1. 1.Universität GöttingenGermany

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