Non-Equilibrium Critical Behavior: An Extended Irreversible Thermodynamics Approach

Enrique Hernández-Lemus 1 , 1  and Leopoldo S García-Colín 2 , 2
  • 1 Departamento de Física y Química Teórica, Facultad de Química, UNAM. Circuito Escolar s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, 04510, México, D.F., México.
  • 2 Departamento de Física, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Iztapalapa Av. Purísima y Av. Michoacán s/n, 09340, México, D.F., México; El Colegio Nacional, Luis González Obregón 23, 06020, México, D.F., México.


Critical phenomena in non-equilibrium systems have been studied by means of a wide variety of theoretical and experimental approaches. Mode-coupling, renormalization group, complex Lie algebras and diagrammatic techniques are some of the usual theoretical tools. Experimental studies include light and inelastic neutron scattering, X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy, microwave interferometry and several other techniques. Nevertheless, no conclusive treatment has been developed from the basic principles of a thermodynamic theory of irreversible processes. We have developed a formalism in which we obtain correlation functions as field averages of the associated functions. By applying such formalism, we attempt to find out whether the resulting correlation functions will inherit the mathematical properties (integrability, generalized homogeneity, scaling laws) of its parent potentials, and we also use these correlation functions to study the behavior of macroscopic systems far from equilibrium, especially in the neighborhood of critical points or dynamic phase transitions. As a working example, we will consider the mono-critical behavior of a non-equilibrium binary fluid mixture close to its consolute point.

Purchase article
Get instant unlimited access to the article.
Log in
Already have access? Please log in.

Log in with your institution

Journal + Issues

The Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics serves as an international publication organ for new ideas, insights and results on non-equilibrium phenomena in science, engineering and related natural systems. The central aim of the journal is to provide a bridge between science and engineering and to promote scientific exchange on non-equilibrium phenomena and on analytic or numeric modeling for their interpretation.