## ENTROPY PRODUCTION (Theorem of minimum)
^{1)}^{5)}

← Back

I. PRIGOGINE showed (1945) that a system close to equilibrium and in a sufficiently stable environment, evolves toward a steady state that minimizes the dissipation of energy.

This applies to open systems close to equilibrium and goes a step further than the classical law of irreversible increase of entropy in isolated systems.

It also seems to be the dynamic version of the LE CHATELIER principle of action and reaction for simple systems in static equilibrium.

In order to maintain their equilibrium, open systems of this type must constantly export entropy to their environment.

Minimum entropy production is corresponded by minimum dissipation of energy. In PRIGOGINE words: "The theorem of minimum entropy production expresses a kind of 'inertial' property of nonequilibrium systems. When given boundary conditions prevent the system from reaching thermodynamic equilibrium (i.e. zero entropy production) the system settles down in the state of least dissipation" (1980, p.88).

This is a stationary state. It allows the maintenance of an organized state in nonequilibrium conditions (but close to equilibrium, i.e. homeostatic, or homeorhetic).

Later on P. GLANSDORFF and I. PRIGOGINE considered and resolved the case of dynamic systems far-from-equilibrium, which are not any more able to maintain themselves in their former steady state and may jump to other states through bifurcations. In such a case: "… the thermodynamic behavior could be quite different, in fact, even opposite to that indicated by the theorem of minimum entropy production" (PRIGOGINE, 1978, p.2-7).

### Categories

- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented

### Publisher

Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science(2020).

To cite this page, please use the following information:

* Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020).* Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]

We thank the following partners for making the open access of this volume possible: