The potential for a thermodynamic process to be reversed in time. Alternatively, a quantification of how far an irreversible process is from being reversible, which relies on a comparison to a corresponding theoretical reversible process.

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573 views

Difference between irreversible and entropy?

Cedric Villani recently wrote an article on Landau damping, where at least one topic discussed confused me. Besides discussing the issue of how a process can be microscopically reversible and ...
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5answers
874 views

Intuitively, why is a reversible process one in which the system is always at equilibrium?

A process is reversible if and only if it's always at equilibrium during the process. Why? I have heard several specific example of this, such as adding weight gradually to a piston to compress the ...
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3answers
1k views

Hawking radiation and reversibility

It's often said that, as long as the information that fell into a black hole comes out eventually in the Hawking radiation (by whatever means), pure states remain pure rather than evolving into mixed ...
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1answer
418 views

A thermodynamic transformation that can be represented by a continuous quasistatic path in its state space may still be irreversible. Why?

A thermodynamic transformation that has a path (in its state space) that lies on the surface of its equation of state (e.g., $PV=NkT$) is always reversible (right?). However, if the path is a ...
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1answer
149 views

What is the physical implication of Clausius inequality?

Clausius inequality is given as: $$\oint \frac{\delta Q_\text{res}}{T_\text{res}} \le 0\;.$$ From Carnot cycle, we get the equality relation as the entropy lost by the hot reservoir is the same as ...
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2answers
45 views

Pressure Difference affecting reversibility of a process

It is said that for a finite pressure´┐╝difference between system and the surrounding the process is irreversible. From the diagram can you please tell me how the process is irreversible ? Does this ...
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3answers
216 views

Physics without time

The structure of physical law as we generally recognize it today is firmly held together by the existence of time. Although physical laws can both predict and retrodict (reversible time does not break ...
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1answer
314 views

Particle sources and particle detectors in quantum field theory

I am looking for a resource that clearly exposes the concepts of a particle source and a particle detector in the context of Quantum Field theory. I want to understand Irreversibility in this context.
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3answers
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Is thermodynamic reversibility a function of path?

Question: given a path taken by a system through state space, is it possible to make a statement such as 'that path corresponds to an irreversible process' or 'that path corresponds to a reversible ...
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4answers
12k views

Are reversible adiabatic processes always isentropic?

If my understanding is correct, neither reversible nor adiabatic processes are necessarily isentropic. But are reversible adiabatic processes always isentropic?
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2answers
913 views

What is the nature of the correspondence between unitary operators and reversible change?

Why does the formalism of QM represent reversible changes (eg the time evolution operator, quantum gates, etc) with unitary operators? To put it another way, can it be shown that unitary ...
3
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4answers
166 views

Does a reversible heat engine exchanging heat with an ideal gas that does a transformation imply that transformation is reversible?

Consider a reversible heat engine working between two sources. Suppose that one of the sources is a thermostat, while the other is an ideal gas which follows a transformation and exchanges some heat ...
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1answer
856 views

Calculation of entropy change in irreversible cycles, meaning of $\delta Q/T$ in irreversible processes

Let's take the two cycles in the pictures working with an ideal gas. We perform one, and then perform the other. The cycle is made reversible by making the gas exchange heat with a heat bath having ...
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4answers
489 views

Irreversible expansion and time reversal symmetry

Suppose there are N non-interacting classical particles in a box, so their state can be described by the $\{\mathbf{x}_i(t), \mathbf{p}_i(t) \}$. If the particles are initially at the left of the box, ...
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1answer
71 views

Can an adiabatic, isentropic transformation be irreversible?

My question is very similar to this, but I decided to ask another question because I felt that the problem deserved to be addressed in a more specific and formal way and I also wanted to discuss a ...
15
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4answers
2k views

How slow is a reversible adiabatic expansion of an ideal gas?

A truly reversible thermodynamic process needs to be infinitesimally displaced from equilibrium at all times and therefore takes infinite time to complete. However, if I execute the process slowly, I ...
2
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3answers
69 views

Does “IF isentropic THEN reversible” only holds for adiabatic processes?

I know that: IF adiabatic and reversible THEN isentropic First question: does the implication IF isentropic THEN reversible hold for adiabatic processes? Second Question: if yes to the above, are ...
2
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1answer
4k views

What is the difference between reversible and irreversible adiabatic expansion?

What is the difference between reversible and irreversible adiabatic expansion? Is it true that the work done by the gas is the same but the pressure applied externally differ between two process? ...