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Andrew M. Steane

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198788560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198788560.001.0001

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Thermoelectricity and entropy flow

Thermoelectricity and entropy flow

(p.403) 28 Thermoelectricity and entropy flow

Andrew M. Steane

Oxford University Press

Thermoelectricity is discussed, leading to an introduction to non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the Onsager reciprocal relations. First the Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, and Thomson heat are described. Thomson’s (Kelvin’s) argument to find relationships between the coefficients (first and second Thomson relations) is given. Next, the concept of entropy gradient is introduced, and then Onsager’s reciprocal relation is derived. Care is taken to present the assumptions (the linear approximation, Onsager’s regression hypothesis, and the principle of microscopic reversibility) and their meaning. The general idea of entropy flow and entropy production is presented. The Onsager relations are then used to obtain the Thomson relations.

Keywords:   Seebeck effect, Peltier effect, Thomson heat, Thomson relation, Onsager reciprocal relation, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, regression hypothesis, microscopic reversibility

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