03-161 Juerg Froehlich, Marco Merkli, Simon Schwarz, Daniel Ueltschi
Statistical Mechanics of Thermodynamic Processes (242K, postscript) Apr 7, 03
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Abstract. We describe some results concerning non-relativistic quantum systems at positive temperature and density confined to macroscopically large (infinite) regions of physical space. In a general discussion of time-dependent thermodynamic processes, we propose a definition of (time-dependent) entropy which has natural physical properties. In this general framework, we show that for a class of time-dependent perturbations approaching a limiting perturbation, the system exhibits return to equilibrium. If the perturbation is periodic then the system approaches a time-periodic state for large times. We apply these results to a reservoir of non-relativistic non-interacting fermions.

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