In thermodynamics, nonequilibrium thermodynamics is the study of systems out of equilibrium or not in thermal equilibrium and their evolution with time. [1] Synonyms include “thermodynamics of irreversible processes”, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics, among other variants. The “founding fathers” of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, a field emerging between 1931 and 1947, are Norwegian-born American physical chemist Lars Onsager (1931), German theoretical physicist Josef Meixner (1941), Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine (1947), and Austrian-born Danish theoretical physicist Peter Mazur (1950s). [5] A defining publication in this field is the 1962 book Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics by Danish theoretical physicists Sybren de Groot and Mazur, de Groot's graduate student. [6]

See main: Near-equilibrium thermodynamics
The nonequilibrium thermodynamical study of systems “close to equilibrium”, i.e. close enough for a linear relationship to be assumed between assumed between observed fluxes and the forces that cause them is often referred to as “linear thermodynamics of irreversible process” a field initiated by Belgian mathematical physicist Théophile de Donder beginning in 1918 followed by the work of Lars Onsager in 1931. [2] Nonequilibrium systems near thermal equilibrium are described by the Onsager relations.

When the linear hypothesis begins to reveal limitations, such as, for instance, in the "far-from-equilibrium" heat flow range, as in the phenomenon of of Bénard cell formation, in the study of various aberant chemical reactions, or in the case of oscillating reactions, a “non-linear thermodynamics of irreversible processes” is said to define this subject of study, as developed by Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine, beginning in the 1945. [3] One of the earliest reports of an oscillating reaction, was the reported the periodic "flaring up" of phosphorus in contact with the air, in the seventeenth century, by English-Irish chemist Robert Boyle. [4] A modern example of an oscillating reaction is the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction (1950s).

1. Daintith, John. (2005). Oxford Dictionary of Physics. Oxford University Press.
2. Perrot, P. (1998). A to Z of Thermodynamics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
3. Prigogine, Ilya. (1945). Etude Thermodynamics des Phenomenes Irreversibles (Study of the Thermodynamics of Irreversible Phenomenon). Presented to the science faculty at the Free University of Brussels (1945); Paris: Dunod, 1947.
4. Oscillating Reactions (Science Encycopedia) -
5. Peter Mazur: Obituary, 1922-2001.
6. (a) de Groot, S.R. and Mazur, Peter. (1962). Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. New York: Dover.
(b) Sybren Ruurds de Groot – Mathematics Genealogy Project.

Further reading
● Katchalsky, A. and Curran, Peter F. (1965). Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics in Biophysics. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
● Caplan, Roy S. and Essig Alvin. (1983). Bioenergetics and Linear Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics. Cambridge: London: Harvard University Press.
● Muschik, Wolfgang. (2001). "A Sketch of Continuum Thermodynamics", J. Non-Newtonian Fluid Mech. 96, 255-290.
● Kleidon, Axel, and Lorenz, Ralph D. (2004). Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics and the Production of Entropy: Life, Earth, and Beyond. Springer.
● Feinman, Richard D., and Fine, Eugene J. (2007). “Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics and Energy Efficiency in Weight Loss Diets.” Theoretical Biology and Medial Modeling, 4:27.

External links
Non-equilibrium thermodynamics – Wikipedia.

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