Linear Irreversible Thermodynamics

  1. Hans Christian Öttinger

Published Online: 27 JAN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0471727903.ch3

Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics

Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics

How to Cite

Öttinger, H. C. (2005) Linear Irreversible Thermodynamics, in Beyond Equilibrium Thermodynamics, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/0471727903.ch3

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 27 JAN 2005
  2. Published Print: 2 MAR 2005

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471666585

Online ISBN: 9780471727903



  • linear force-flux relationships;
  • cross-effects;
  • Onsager-Casimir relations;
  • entropy production rate;
  • stationary states;
  • Curie's principle;
  • applications;
  • thermoelectric effects


Linear irreversible thermodynamics was an important milestone in the development of nonequilibrium thermodynamics, as it comprises all the phenomenological observations made over three centuries in a compact and elegant form. This framework is based on linear relationships between thermodynamic forces and fluxes, and their bilinear contribution to the entropy production rate. Any more general, nonlinear framework of beyond-equilibrium thermodynamics must undoubtedly contain linear irreversible thermodynamics as a special case. In this chapter it is shown how, indeed, the linear theory arises naturally within the GENERIC framework. In particular, a deep understanding of the famous Onsager-Casimir relations can be obtained from the GENERIC perspective on linear irreversible thermodynamics. Stationary states and thermoelectric effects are discussed in detail.