Publications by Andrew Steane


On determining absolute entropy without quantum theory or the third law of thermodynamics

New Journal of Physics IOP Publishing 18 (2016) 043022-043022

A Steane

We employ classical thermodynamics to gain information about absolute entropy, without recourse to statistical methods, quantum mechanics or the third law of thermodynamics. The Gibbs-Duhem equation yields various simple methods to determine the absolute entropy of a fluid. We also study the entropy of an ideal gas and the ionization of a plasma in thermal equilibrium. A single measurement of the degree of ionization can be used to determine an unknown constant in the entropy equation, and thus determine the absolute entropy of a gas. It follows from all these examples that the value of entropy at absolute zero temperature does not need to be assigned by postulate, but can be deduced empirically.


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