[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Through a thermodynamic argument based on Planck’s as well as the total entropy irreversibility criterions it is
possible to prove that contrary to common wisdom, infinite-time irreversible processes constituted by a
succession of equilibrium states in which all the thermodynamic properties are defined and quantifiable, are
possible. As such, these irreversible processes are capable of graphical representation in thermodynamic state
space. It is also shown that these infinite-time irreversible processes are thermodynamically equivalent to their
finite-time counterparts. Not only do these results demand a revision of our current conceptualization of
irreversibility; they also bring a purely thermodynamic alternative to the postulate of local equilibrium for the
thermodynamic analysis of the evolutionary path of irreversible processes.
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