Materials and Thermodynamics
A thermodynamic system is defined according to its environment and its compliance. This book promotes the classification of materials from generalized thermodynamics outside the equilibrium state and not solely according to their chemical origin.
The author goes beyond standard classification of materials and extends it to take into account the living, ecological, economic and financial systems in which they exist: all these systems can be classified according to their deviation from an ideal situation of thermodynamic equilibrium.
The concepts of dynamic complexity and hierarchy, emphasizing the crucial role played by cycles and rhythms, then become fundamental. Finally, the limitations of the uniqueness of this description that depend on thermodynamic foundations based on the concepts of energy and entropy are discussed in relation to the cognitive sciences.
Materials and Thermodynamics
We use more and more objects, products of human creation. They are made of a particular material with a specific shape that gives them functionality for the desired use. These objects become ever more elaborate and they form ever more sophisticated assemblies or devices up to the design of machines. To describe and classify these objects, the usual method is to observe their behavior and analyze the phenomena generated. To do so, an overall scientific approach is needed that will allow the modeling of these behaviors by choosing the most general approach possible whatever their chemical origin. Physical models are generally reductive concepts of reality, initially based on the existence of mechanical systems. However, the transition from mechanics to phenomenological thermodynamics, while retaining the variational principles of stability on the extrema of potential functions, is the product of conceptual advances made over the past two centuries. The energetic approach with the introduction of the temperature variable (T) and associated quantities has become indispensable. By doing so, the principle of energy conservation and that of evolution from the entropy function become unavoidable. We will show that a thermodynamic approach allows a transversal analysis with a more general classification than that based on the chemical nature of the materials. These criteria, which are developed for isolated thermodynamic systems, in or close to equilibrium, are only valid for an ideal system. However, in practice, a system exchanges energy and ultimately matter with the exterior: it should be far from equilibrium. A dissipative behavior occurs, which we will introduce. This phenomenological description can then be extended to living environments and to economic sciences with an increasing degree of complexity; we will discuss this in the three last chapters.
Finally, this approach at the macroscopic level will have to be accompanied by a microscopic description involving the achievements of statistical physics and the principles of quantum mechanics. The theory of information will also be included in this microscopic description, including the experimental methods of storage and reading of computer data. As the dimensions of the devices only decrease over time, new classes of nanomaterials are introduced, including those of biomaterials and their mimetic approach. They therefore require a quantum description of physical phenomena. It is then necessary to reconcile these two levels of approaches related to the problem of irreversibility of time and the principle of evolution in a thermodynamic system far from equilibrium. For this reason, we have divided the text into three main parts:
- 1) Classical phenomenological approach and functional classification of materials:
- - Chapter 1 recalls the historical character based on the relationship between the material and the shape of the object or device; these respective approaches are schematically attributed to Aristotle and Plato. Increasing knowledge of materials shows how geometry, particularly that of polyhedra, has influenced the development of chemistry and biology and allows the introduction of materials;
- - Chapter 2 is an overview of useful phenomenological thermodynamic definitions and different possible situations for an isolated thermodynamic system, then exchanging with its environment. They vary in distance from equilibrium and are classified using the instability threshold concept and the appearance of new organizations. They are called spatiotemporal structures that can go as far as chaotic situations. Thus, in this context, the analysis of the processes for the production of solid-state materials helps justify the forms characterized at different scales and obtained by the processes of cristallogenesis or morphogenesis;
- - the classification of materials proposed in Chapter 3 i