Workshop Details
Summer Workshop on Thermodynamic Length
06/25/1984 - 07/25/1984
Meeting Description:

This workshop will be the first official program for the Telluride Summer Research Center. It is hoped that several other small workshops will also materialize based on interests of the participants.

This summer the Telluride Public Schools will for the first time play host to the Telluride Summer Research Center. The Center is intended as an annual summer institute which will host workshops in diverse disciplines. This summer only one workshop will take place with twenty distinguished participants from from universities and research laboratories in the United States and Abroad. The principal topic of the workshop will be to study energy waste inherent in finite time operation of any thermodynamic process, ranging from heating a glass of water to operating an engine, a refrigerator or a chemical factory. Such energy waste is related to the geometrical structure of the set of states of the system. The study has potential applications for improving the efficiency of any energy conversion process by pinpointing those parts of the process which operate inefficiently, i.e. far from the in-principle minimally dissipating operation. It will also give methods whereby one can find the optimal way to run such processes.

Thermodynamic distance between two equilibrium states is a recently introduced quantity dependent only on equilibrium properties of a thermodynamic system. Despite this fact, such distance is intimately related to the losses which must accompany any process in which the system changes in a finite time from one state to another. Such losses are proportional to the square of the thermodynamic distance and inversely proportional to the time alloted to the process. The generality of the bound rivals the classic result of Carnot by quantifying the inherent inefficiency of finite time energy uses. The workshop will bring together groups of scientists working in areas related to thermodynamic length and its applications with the aim of exploring the implications of this bound for the basic understanding of physico-chemical phenomena.


The Center will run on a format similar to the one used by the Aspen Center for Physics, i.e. usually one scheduled talk per day with the remainder of the time available for individual work or collaborations in an inspiring and undisturbed environment. the center will provide meeting rooms and limited office space for participants, some secretarial services and a few Apple II micro computers to be used for numerical work as well as for the editing of papers. The center has no library facilities so please bring any references you consider indispensable. A $50.00 registration fee will be charged and each participant is responsible for their own summer salary, travel and living expenses. The workshop has only a small sum available to assist needy participants. Although participation or the full length of the workshop is strongly encouraged, shorter stays are possible.

The formal lectures will take place each day at 10:00 am. The afternoons are reserved for informal discussions. Recall that the Telluride Summer Research Center does not have a library. Participants are therefore urged to bring all the books and journals which may prove useful to their work. The Telluride School will provide us with seven APPLE computers, so please also bring any useful software.

Topics Discussed for Thermodynamic Length Workshop included the behavior of instantaneous relaxation times for molecular relaxation, optimal control of a model separation process, minimum loss in an adaptive communication channel, and the minumum welfare loss with non-instantaneous adjustment.


Bjarne Andresen, University of Copenhagen
Qi Anmin, San Diego State University
R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago
Gordon Brown, San Diego State University
Martin Carrera, University of Chicago
Tova Feldman, The Hebrew University
J. David Flick, San Diego State University
Karl-Heinz Hoffman, Institut fur Theoretische Physik
Ed Ihrig, Arizona State University
Ronnie Kosloff, The Hebrew University
James Nulton, San Diego State University
Leonardo Peusner, Harvard University
Peter Salamon, San Diego State University
Friedrich Schlogl, Institut fur Theoretische Physik
Jack Semura, Portland State University
Stanislaw Sieniutycz, Warsaw Technical University
Greg Swift, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory
Frank Weinhold, University of Wisconsin

Meeting Venue:

Telluride School

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