Study of Nonequilibrium Size and Concentration Effects on the Heat and Mass Diffusion of Indistinguishable Particles using Steepest-Entropy-Ascent Quantum Thermodynamics

[+] Author and Article Information
Guanchen Li

Postdoctoral research associate, Member of ASME Center for Energy Systems Research Department of Mechanical Engineering Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061

Michael R. von Spakovsky

Professor, Fellow of ASME Center for Energy Systems Research Department of Mechanical Engineering Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4036735 History: Received February 03, 2017; Revised April 30, 2017


Conventional first-principle approaches for studying nonequilibrium processes depend on the mechanics of individual particles or quantum states and as a result, require many details of the mechanical features of the system to arrive at a macroscopic property. In contrast, thermodynamics, which has been successful in the stable equilibrium realm, provides an approach for determining macroscopic properties without the mechanical details. Nonetheless, this phenomenological approach is not generally applicable to a nonequilibrium process except in the near-equilibrium realm and under the local equilibrium and continuum assumptions, both of which limit its ability to describe nonequilibrium phenomena. Furthermore, predicting the thermodynamic features of a nonequilibrium process (of entropy generation) across all scales is difficult. To address these drawbacks, steepest-entropy-ascent quantum thermodynamics (SEAQT) can be used. It provides a first-principle thermodynamic-ensemble based approach applicable to the entire nonequilibrium realm even that far-from-equilibrium and does so with a single kinematics and dynamics, which crosses all temporal and spatial scales. Based on prior developments by the authors, SEAQT is used here to study the heat and mass diffusion of indistinguishable particles. The study focuses on the thermodynamic features of far-from-equilibrium state evolution, which is separated from the specific mechanics of individual particle interactions. Results for nonequilibrium size (volume) and concentration effects on the evolutionary state trajectory are presented for the case of high temperature and low particle concentration, which, however, do not impact the generality of the theory and will in future studies be relaxed.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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