A Third Line of Argument in Thermodynamics
We all know the power of arguments resting on cycles. Again and again in the papers we have heard, cycles or approximations to them have delivered the goods. We know also the power of classical ideas and the value of classical thermodynamics as an example of what is wanted and what can be got. Every speaker has called upon classical arguments and classical results, not only as an important special instance that must be included in any modern theory but also as a source of inspiration. But classical thermodynamics, while it may be developed by exploiting the properties of cycles, need not be. David Owen and Manuel Ricou have reminded us that thermodynamics can be founded also upon ideas about a class of processes that need not even include non-trivial cycles.
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List of Sources
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