Prigogine Theorem

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Prigogine Theorem


a theorem of the thermodynamics of nonequilibrium processes according to which the minimum level of production of entropy in a system, under conditions preventing the attainment of the equilibrium state, corresponds to the steady state of that system. If there are no such hindrances, then the production of entropy reaches its absolute minimum— zero. The theorem was derived in 1947 by I. Prigogine from the Onsager reciprocal relations. It is valid only if the kinetic coefficients of the Onsager relations are constant; for real systems, the principle is merely an approximation. Thus, the minimization of the production of entropy for the steady state is not as general a principle as the maximization of entropy for the equilibrium state.


Groot, S., and P. Mazur. Neravnovesnaia termodinamika. Moscow, 1964. (Translated from English.)
Prigogine, I. Vvedenie v termodinamiku neobratimykh protsessov. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.