Thermodynamic Equilibrium


The maximum entropy principle is an important property of the exponential family. But the models of this family actually satisfy a stronger condition which is called the variational principle, and which expresses that the free energy of an equilibrium state is minimal. The definition of relative entropy is given. Thermodynamic stability is shortly discussed.


Thermodynamic Equilibrium Thermodynamic Stability Relative Entropy Exponential Family Thermodynamic Variable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Callen, H.: Thermodynamics and an Introduction to Thermostatistics, 2nd edn. Wiley, New York (1985) MATHGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gibbs, J.W.: On the equilibrium of heterogeneous substances. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy, III. pp. 108–248, Oct., 1875–May, 1876, and 343–524, May, 1877–July, 1878 Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Gibbs, J.W.: Scientific papers, Vol. I. Thermodynamics. Longmans, Green, and Co., London, New York and Bombay (1906) Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jaynes, E.: Information theory and statistical mechanics. Phys. Rev. 106, 620–630 (1957) CrossRefMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jaynes, E.: Papers on probability, statistics and statistical physics, ed. R.D. Rosenkrantz. Kluwer (1989) Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Müller, I.: A History of Thermodynamics. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg (2007) MATHGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Uffink, J.: Boltzmann’s work in statistical physics. In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2004) Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Physics DepartmentUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

Personalised recommendations