Steepest entropy increase is justified by information theory. The relations between Ziegler's principle, Onsager's formalism and Prigogine's principle
Journal article, 2010
Evidence for Ziegler's principle of maximum entropy production has been accumulated from different fields such as climatic studies, crystal growth, dynamics of ecosystems and cellular metabolism. However, Ziegler's principle is still seen with scepticism by the scientific community. The reasons for this scepticism are the absence of an accepted theoretical justification as well as the fact that Ziegler's principle formulation seems to contradict Prigogine's principle of minimum entropy production. In this work we aim to provide a theoretical justification for Ziegler's principle based on information theory, which is at the basis of Gibbs' formalism for statistical physics. Similar approaches have previously been attempted, however we believe that the justification provided here is simpler and relies in less questionable hypotheses. Once Ziegler's principle has been formulated as a consequence of information theory, its relations with Onsager's formulation and Prigogine's principle are explored. (C) 2010 Elsevier BM. All rights reserved.