On the nature of thermodynamic extremum principles: The case of maximum efficiency and maximum work

Authors


  • In honour of Max Planck (1858–1947) on the occasion of his 150th birthday.

Abstract

Extremum principles are at the heart of theoretical physics. For a complete definition one does not only need to specify the variable to be extremized but also the respective functional space and its parametrization. Here we use a control-theoretical approach to clarify the meaning of two maximum principles in the context of cyclic thermodynamic processes.

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