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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Definition of Entropy in thermodynamics

In most textbooks, the definition of entropy in reversible processes on a system $S$ is given simply as $$d S=\delta Q/T.$$ It seems to me this definition is insufficient since it does not specify ...
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66 views

Entropy of loops in the PV plane

The change in entropy of the Carnot and reversible cycles is said to be 0. Several other loops are supposed to have a non-negative change in entropy. This presents 2 problems which I cannot ...
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105 views

Entropy Change in an irreversible process

I have just started learning thermodynamics and the concept of entropy confuses me. Suppose I have a gas in a cylindrical container fitted with a piston. I take it through an adiabatic irreversible ...
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1answer
239 views

Hysteresis and dissipation

Hysteretic phenomena are often linked to dissipation. When there is an hysteresis loop, the dissipated energy can usually be computed as the area of the cycle. For example, in ferromagnetic ...
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120 views

How can dynamics be reversible if inflation-style baby universe spawning is allowed?

I just finished readying Sean Carroll's book, "From Eternity to Here", and have a question about reversibility and inflation: Assume inflation allows random quantum fluctuations to produce high ...
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25 views

Necessity of infinitesimal steps for reversible processes

Is there a mathematical proof for why a reversible process is one that has many infinitesimal equilibrium steps, rather than fewer large steps? Maybe something along the lines of this?: ...
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129 views

Irreversible heat engines strictly less efficient than reversible ones

I undertand how Canot's theorem implies that irreversible heat engines must be no more efficient than reversible one's, but it isless clear why they need to be less efficient, as I have seen stated in ...
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58 views

Restrained expansion of a piston/cylinder

Suppose an ideal gas in a piston cylinder has some initial pressure $p_1$, volume $V_1$, and temperature $T_1$. A pin, which holds the piston in place, is suddenly removed, and the gas quickly ...
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How is $P = P_{ext}$ derived, for reversible processes?

I know that for a reversible process the inexact differential of $Q$ must be equal to $TdS$ because the total entropy of the universe must remain constant. Is there a way to formally derive that the ...