Non-equilibrium thermodynamics from First Principles

 

Non-equilibrium thermodynamics from First Principles

Atanu Chatterjee

Abstract:

In this talk I present a fundamental first principles approach to undestand non-equilibrium phenomena and the onset of complexity in nature.  I begin the talk by putting forward a simple observation, the analogous of the Principle of Equivalence in Thermodynamics.  I probe this by laying out an equivalent field-theoretic approach to classical thermodynamics.  The central core of this idea is to identify a thermodynamically open system as a scalar field over a symplectic energy manifold.  Once the Lagrangian density is defined in terms of thermodynamic state variables, the Euler-Lagrange equations yield the steady-state energy conservation law.  The salient feature of this formulation is the emergence of the spatial and temporal derivatives of these state variables as non-equilibrium corrections to the First Law of Thermodynamics.  I thus put forward a generalized First Law equation, whcih has a virial-like expansion of the state variables and their higher-order spatial and temporal derivatives.  Moreover, the generalized First Law hints at the presence of a pair of constants, that corresponds to characteristic time and length scales for physical systems at various orders of complexity.