In this paper we propose and test a possible varitaional principle for nonequilibrium steady states far from equilibrium where local thermodynamic equilibrium has broken down. We propose that subject to the externally imposed constraints, the rate of decrease of the volume of phase space which is accessible to the system, is a local minimum. This hypothesis reduces to the familiar principle of minimum entropy production for systems in local thermodynamic equilibrium. We provide computer-simulation data in support of our hypothesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)