The Evolution of Carnot’s Principle
We trace the development of the technical ideas showing that the Second Law of Thermodynamics became, over a Century ago, a general principle of reasoning, applicable to scientific inference in other fields than thermodynamics. Both the logic and the procedure of our present maximum entropy applications are easily recognized in the methods for predicting equilibrium conditions introduced by Gibbs in 1875. Chemical thermodynamics has been based on them ever since. What is new in this field is not the method, but the recognition of its generality.
KeywordsMaximum Entropy Heat Engine Hypothesis Space Para Hydrogen Heat Reservoir
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