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Article: On thermodynamic and microscopic reversibility

Gavin E. Crooks, J. Stat. Mech. (2011) P07008

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Abstract: The word ‘reversible’ has two (apparently) distinct applications in statistical thermodynamics. A thermodynamically reversible process indicates an experimental protocol for which the entropy change is zero, whereas the principle of microscopic reversibility asserts that the probability of any trajectory of a system through phase space equals that of the time reversed trajectory. However, these two terms are actually synonymous: a thermodynamically reversible process is microscopically reversible, and vice versa.

  • Published: 2011-07-13