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Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Its Interdisciplinary Applications

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). This special issue belongs to the section "Thermodynamics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 2816

Special Issue Editors


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LIED laboratory, Université Paris Cité, 75013 Paris, France
Interests: power production in living systems, branching and growing network
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
CNRS, UMR 8236-LIED, Université Paris Cité, 75013 Paris, France
Interests: out-of-equilibrium thermodynamics; solid-state physics; thermoelectricity; living systems; thermodynamics optimization; network thermodynamics; ecological economics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In this Special Issue, we would like to collect papers focusing on both the theory and applications of nonequilibrium thermodynamics.

As soon as its classical formulation appeared, towards the second half of the 19th century, thermodynamics rapidly appeared to be indispensable in the field of experimental and refutable sciences. The reason for this is that only thermodynamics makes it possible to define, beyond the concept of conserved quantity, that of quality, conserved or not, depending on whether the process is reversible or not. This tool made available by the second principle has found a very wide echo in all scientific fields, sometimes with a metaphorically outrageous use that should be avoided. Nevertheless, thermodynamics, and especially its non-equilibrium version, offers a precious tool for describing and modelling beyond its traditional fields of application, and especially in economy and history.

As such, this Special Issue seeks to serve as a vehicle for the exploration of these emerging topics. As a result, the main topics of this Special Issue include (but are not limited to):

  • Out of equilibrium thermodynamics of thermal and non-thermal systems.
  • Non-extensive thermodynamics.
  • Thermodynamics of oscillating systems.
  • Soft matter and biology.
  • Ecological economics.
  • Thermodynamics and macro-economy.
  • Historical foundations of thermodynamics.
  • Thermodynamics in history (Resources and Energy).
  • Thermodynamics in social sciences (space and time under non conservative conditions).

Dr. Eric Herbert
Prof. Dr. Christophe Goupil
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  •  out of equilibrium thermodynamics of thermal AND non-thermal systems
  •  non-extensive thermodynamics
  •  thermodynamics of oscillating systems
  •  soft matter and biology
  •  ecological economics
  •  thermodynamics and macro-economy
  •  historical foundations of thermodynamics
  •  thermodynamics in history
  •  thermodynamics in social sciences

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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14 pages, 4413 KiB  
Article
Growth Quakes and Stasis Using Iterations of Inflating Complex Random Matrices
by Henri Benisty
Entropy 2023, 25(11), 1507; https://doi.org/10.3390/e25111507 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 611
Abstract
I extend to the case of complex matrices, rather than the case of real matrices as in a prior study, a method of iterating the operation of an “inflating random matrix” onto a state vector to describe complex growing systems. I show that [...] Read more.
I extend to the case of complex matrices, rather than the case of real matrices as in a prior study, a method of iterating the operation of an “inflating random matrix” onto a state vector to describe complex growing systems. I show that the process also describes in this complex case a punctuated growth with quakes and stasis. I assess that under one such inflation step, the vector will shift to a really different one (quakes) only if the inflated matrix has sufficiently dominant new eigenvectors. The vector shall prefer stasis (a similar vector) otherwise, similar to the real-valued matrices discussed in a prior study. Specifically, in order to extend the model relevance, I assess that under various update schemes of the system’s representative vector, the bimodal distribution of the changes of the dominant eigenvalue remains the core concept. Overall, I contend that the punctuations may appropriately address the issue of growth in systems combining a large weight of history and some sudden quake occurrences, such as economic systems or ecological systems, with the advantage that unpaired complex eigenvalues provide more degrees of freedom to suit real systems. Furthermore, random matrices could be the right meeting point for exerting thermodynamic analogies in a reasonably agnostic manner in such rich contexts, taking into account the profusion of items (individuals, species, goods, etc.) and their networked, tangled interactions 50+ years after their seminal use in R.M. May’s famous “interaction induced instability” paradigm. Finally, I suggest that non-ergodic tools could be further applied for tracking the specifics of large-scale evolution paths and for checking the model’s relevance to the domains mentioned above. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Its Interdisciplinary Applications)
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15 pages, 2478 KiB  
Article
Gear Shifting in Biological Energy Transduction
by Yanfei Zhang and Hans V. Westerhoff
Entropy 2023, 25(7), 993; https://doi.org/10.3390/e25070993 - 28 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1138
Abstract
Confronted with thermodynamically adverse output processes, free-energy transducers may shift to lower gears, thereby reducing output per unit input. This option is well known for inanimate machines such as automobiles, but unappreciated in biology. The present study extends existing non-equilibrium thermodynamic principles to [...] Read more.
Confronted with thermodynamically adverse output processes, free-energy transducers may shift to lower gears, thereby reducing output per unit input. This option is well known for inanimate machines such as automobiles, but unappreciated in biology. The present study extends existing non-equilibrium thermodynamic principles to underpin biological gear shifting and identify possible mechanisms. It shows that gear shifting differs from altering the degree of coupling and that living systems may use it to optimize their performance: microbial growth is ultimately powered by the Gibbs energy of catabolism, which is partially transformed into Gibbs energy (‘output force’) in the ATP that is produced. If this output force is high, the cell may turn to a catabolic pathway with a lower ATP stoichiometry. Notwithstanding the reduced stoichiometry, the ATP synthesis flux may then actually increase as compared to that in a system without gear shift, in which growth might come to a halt. A ‘variomatic’ gear switching strategy should be optimal, explaining why organisms avail themselves of multiple catabolic pathways, as these enable them to shift gears when the growing gets tough. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Its Interdisciplinary Applications)
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Review

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13 pages, 310 KiB  
Review
Physicochemical Mechanics and Nonequilibrium Chemical Thermodynamics
by Nikolai Meerovich Kocherginsky
Entropy 2023, 25(9), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/e25091332 - 14 Sep 2023
Viewed by 677
Abstract
Equilibrium thermodynamics answers the question, “by how much?” Nonequilibrium thermodynamics answers the question “how fast?” The physicochemical mechanics approach presented in this article answers both of these questions. It also gives equilibrium laws and expressions for all major transport coefficients and their relations, [...] Read more.
Equilibrium thermodynamics answers the question, “by how much?” Nonequilibrium thermodynamics answers the question “how fast?” The physicochemical mechanics approach presented in this article answers both of these questions. It also gives equilibrium laws and expressions for all major transport coefficients and their relations, which was previously impossible. For example, Onsager’s reciprocal relations only tell us that symmetric transport coefficients are equal, and even for these, the value is often not known. Our new approach, applicable to non-isolated systems, leads to a new formulation of the second law of thermodynamics and agrees with entropy increase in spontaneous processes for isolated systems. Instead of entropy, it is based on a modified Lagrangian formulation which always increases during system evolution, even in the presence of external fields. This article will present numerous examples of physicochemical mechanics can be applied to various transport processes and their equilibriums, including thermodiffusion and different surface processes. It has been proven that the efficiency of a transport process with an actual steady-state flux (as opposed to a reversible process near equilibrium) is 50%. Finally, an analogy between physicochemical mechanics and some social processes is mentioned. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Its Interdisciplinary Applications)
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