Multiscale Thermodynamics
Prof. Miroslav Grmela
Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Canada

The essential difference between the classical mechanics of particles and mesoscopic mechanics is that the former involves and keeps all of the details, while the latter ignores some of them. This ignorance enables one to recognize emerging overall features. How does the time evolution with and without all of the details differ from the mathematical point of view? It is thermodynamics, more precisely the classical equilibrium thermodynamics, where the answer to this question has started to emerge. The partial ignorance is seen in the time evolution of a new potential of non-mechanical nature that is called entropy. This potential tends to its maximum allowed by constraints (the so-called maximum entropy principle, abbreviated as the MaxEnt principle). Instead of the pure mechanical time evolution where permanence is the dominant feature, the mesoscopic (thermodynamic) time evolution emphasizes the asymmetry between beginning and end.

About the Speaker

Miroslav Grmela is a theoretical physicist working in the domain of multiscale thermodynamics (equilibrium, nonequilibrium, and statistical) and in continuum mechanics and kinetic theory of complex fluids. He received his PhD from Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences. He worked in the Nuclear Research Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, at École Polytechnique in Montrèal, and as a visiting professor, at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, ETH in Zürich, UNAM in Mexico, and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelone in Barcelona. In 1996 he organized the first International Workshop of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics (IWNET). Sevenths IWNET workshop took place in Holland in 2015. In 1983, Miroslav Grmela initiated a systematic investigation of an abstract multiscale thermodynamics that is seen, from the physical point of view, as a theory of relations among different levels of description of macroscopic systems, and from the mathematical point of view, as a combination of symplectic and gradient dynamics that is put into the context of contact geometry. Miroslav Grmela is an author of more than 200 scientific publications. In 2014 he received a prize (Accelerator Research Grant) from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

2016-06-01 10:00 AM
Room: A203 Meeting Room
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