Thermodynamics and Irreversibility: From Some Paradoxes to the Efficiency of Effective Engines


The traditional thermodynamic theory explains the reversible phenomena quite well, except that reversible phenomena are rare or even impossible in practice. Here the purpose is to propose an explanation valid for reversible and also irreversible phenomena, irreversibility being common or realistic. It previously exposed points tricky to grasp, as the sign of the work exchange, the adiabatic expansion in vacuum (free expansion) or the transfer of heat between two bodies at the same temperature (isothermal transfer). After having slightly modified the concepts of heat transfer (each body produces heat according to its own temperature) and work (distinguishing external pressure from internal pressure), the previous points are more easily explained. At last, an engine efficiency in case of irreversible transfer is proposed. This paper is focused on the form of thermodynamics, on “explanations”; it does not question on “results” (except the irreversible free expansion of 1845...) which remain unchanged.

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Serret, O. (2014) Thermodynamics and Irreversibility: From Some Paradoxes to the Efficiency of Effective Engines. Journal of Modern Physics, 5, 1575-1593. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2014.516159.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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