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Published June 2001 | public
Journal Article

Irreversibility in a Reversible Lattice Gas


A simple lattice gas model, a microscopically reversible cellular automaton, is described and shown to exhibit thermodynamic irreversibility in processes similar to those in real gases. The model, which has no random elements, develops a long-lasting equilibrium state within a Poincaré cycle. This state is an attractor resulting from the nonlinear nature of the collective particle collisions and motions. The results illustrate how the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to real systems governed by reversible microscopic dynamics.

Additional Information

© 2001 Plenum Publishing Corporation. Received May 8, 2000; revised August 17, 2000. Donghee Han wrote the computer program for this work at Stanford University. The speed and flexibility of the program made possible the efficient exploration of the ideas and findings reported here. The author is pleased to thank him for his collaboration. He also thanks Donald Baganoff for his work in a preliminary study of the lattice gas. The author is grateful for the hospitality of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford during the course of the work.

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