Australian Journal of Physics Australian Journal of Physics Society
A journal for the publication of original research in all branches of physics

Definition of Heat in Open Systems

DA Smith

Australian Journal of Physics 33(1) 95 - 106
Published: 1980


Existing definitions of heat in open systems are considered with the aim of providing acceptable physical motivation in restricted circumstances. The extent to which these definitions are independent of the usual concept of heat in closed systems is clarified: they all have the feature that internal energy may be transferred by convection in workless adiabatic processes. The global definitions are compared with various definitions of heat flux in irreversible thermodynamics. As the domain of applicability of these definitions is wider than that of equilibrium thermodynamics, it is suggested that a minimal check for any definition of heat flux be that it agree with the global definition of heat flow between equilibrium states in as wide a range of circumstances as possible.

© CSIRO 1980

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