FM 01-06; mp_arc 06-1 cond-mat/0601049

Author: Giovanni Gallavotti

Title Irreversibility time scale: (version 1.1: 26 Mar 2006 )

Abstract: We introduce the entropy creation rate for a system interacting with thermostats ({\it i.e.}, in the usual language, for a subsystem subject to internal conservative forces interacting with the ``outside'' thermostats via conservative forces) and prove a fluctuation theorem for it. As an application a time scale is introduced, to be interpreted as the time over which irreversibility becomes manifest in a process leading from an initial to a final stationary state of a mechanical system in a general nonequilibrium context. The time scale is evaluated in a few examples, including the classical Joule-Thompson process (gas expansion in a vacuum).

Key words:  Nonequilibrium Themodynamics, Statistical mechanics, Chaos, Fluctuation Theorem, Entropy, Irreversibility, Thermostats

PACS:  47.52.+j, 05.45.-a, 05.70.Ln, 05.20.-y

Giovanni Gallavotti
Fisica, Universita' di Roma 1
P.le Moro 2
00185 Roma, Italia
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