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Thoughts on Thermomechanics

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journal contribution
posted on 01.06.2009 by Walter Noll

First, I give a short description of the history of the interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics as a restriction on the kind of material properties that physical systems occurring in nature can have. Second, I describe the desirability of developing a framework, using the concept of a state of a material element, for developing a general thermomechanical theory of simple materials.Third, I give a taste of the mathematical infrastructure needed for such a theory. Finally, I give an outline of the paper [NS] by Brian Seguin and myself which may be a model for the first few chapters of future textbooks on continuum thermomechanics.