Variational and Extremum Principles in Macroscopic Systems - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780080444888, 9780080456140

Variational and Extremum Principles in Macroscopic Systems

1st Edition

Authors: Stanislaw Sieniutycz Henrik Farkas
eBook ISBN: 9780080456140
Hardcover ISBN: 9780080444888
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 30th March 2005
Page Count: 810
Tax/VAT will be calculated at check-out
File Compatibility per Device

PDF, EPUB, VSB (Vital Source):
PC, Apple Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android mobile devices.

Amazon Kindle eReader.

Institutional Access

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Recent years have seen a growing trend to derive models of macroscopic phenomena encountered in the fields of engineering, physics, chemistry, ecology, self-organisation theory and econophysics from various variational or extremum principles. Through the link between the integral extremum of a functional and the local extremum of a function (explicit, for example, in the Pontryagin’s maximum principle variational and extremum principles are mutually related. Thus it makes sense to consider them within a common context.

The main goal of Variational and Extremum Principles in Macroscopic Systems is to collect various mathematical formulations and examples of physical reasoning that involve both basic theoretical aspects and applications of variational and extremum approaches to systems of the macroscopic world.

The first part of the book is focused on the theory, whereas the second focuses on applications. The unifying variational approach is used to derive the balance or conservation equations, phenomenological equations linking fluxes and forces, equations of change for processes with coupled transfer of energy and substance, and optimal conditions for energy management.

Key Features

  • A unique multidisciplinary synthesis of variational and extremum principles in theory and application
  • A comprehensive review of current and past achievements in variational formulations for macroscopic processes
  • Uses Lagrangian and Hamiltonian formalisms as a basis for the exposition of novel approaches to transfer and conversion of thermal, solar and chemical energy


Readership is extremely broad and includes applied mathematicians, mathematical physicists, applied physicists, chemists, geologists, ecologists, mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, economists and system theorists, undergraduates, graduates and instructors, both from academia and industry.

Table of Contents

List of contributors Preface Part I: Theory

I.1. Progress in Variational Formulations for Macroscopic Processes I.2. Lagrange-Formalism and Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and the Principle of Least Entropy Production as Straightforward Structures in Lagrange-Formalism I.3. Fundamental Problems of Variational Principles: Objectivity, Symmetries and Construction I.4. Semi-Inverse Method for Establishment of Variational Principles for Incremental Thermoelasticity with Voids I.5. Variational Formulations of Relativistic Elasticity and Thermo-Elasticity I.6. The Geometric Variational Framework for Entropy in General Relativity I.7. Translational and Rotational Motion of a Unaxial Liquid Crystal as Derived Using Hamilton’s Principle of Least Action I.8. An Introduction to Variational Derivation of the Pseudo-Momentum Conservation in Thermo-Hydrodynamics I.9. Towards a Variational Mechanics of Dissipative Continua? I.10. On the Principle of Least Action and its Role in the Alternative Theory of Non-Equilibrium Processes I.11. Variational Principles for the Linearly Damped Flow of Barotropic and Madelung-Type Fluids I.12. Least Action Principle for Dissipative Processes I.13. Hamiltonian Formulation as a Basis of Quantized Thermal Processes I.14. Conservation Laws and Variational Conditions for Wave Propagation in Planarly-Stratified Media I.15. Master Equations and Path-Integral Formulation of Variational Principles for Reactions I.16. Variational Principles for the Speed of Traveling Fronts of Reaction-Diffusion Equations I.17. The Fermat Principle and Chemical Waves

Part II: Applications Statistical Physics and Thermodynamics

II.1. Fisher Variational Principle and Thermodynamics II.2. Generalized Entropy and the Hamiltonian Structure of Statistical Mechanics

Hydrodynamics and Continuum Mechanics

II.3. Some Observations of Entropy Extrema in Physical Processes II.4. A Variational Principle for the Drag in Linear Hydrodynamics II.5. A Variational Principle for the Impinging Streams Problem II.6. Variational Principles in Stability Analysis of Composite Structures

Transport Phenomena and Energy Conversion

II.7. Field Variational Principles for Irreversible Energy and Mass Transfer II.8. Variational Principles for Irreversible Hyperbolic Transport II.9. A Variational Principle for Transport Processes in Continuous Systems: Derivation and Application II.10. Do the Navier-Stokes Equations Admit a Variational Formulation? II.11. Entropy Generation Minimization in Steady State Heat Conduction II.12. The Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics of Radiation Interaction II.13. Optimal Finite-Time Endoreversible Processes- General Theory and Applications II.14. Evolutionary Energy Method (EEM) – An Aerothermoservoelectrostatic Application


II.15. Maximization of Eco-Exergy in Ecosystems

Selforganization and Econophysics

II.16. Self-Organized Criticality within the Framework of Variational Principle II.17. Extremum Criteria for Nonequilibrium States of Dissipative Macroeconomic systems II.18. Extremal Principles and Limiting Possibilities of Open Thermodynamic and Economic Systems

Glossary of principal symbols Index


No. of pages:
© Elsevier Science 2005
Elsevier Science
eBook ISBN:
Hardcover ISBN:

About the Author

Stanislaw Sieniutycz

Prof. Stanislaw Sieniutycz (1940), PhD; ScD, since 1983 a full Professor of Chemical Engineering at Warsaw TU, Poland. Former head of Department of Process Separation at the Institute of Chemical Engineering of Warsaw TU, Poland, 1986-1989. Seminar speaker in about 40 Universities of the USA, 1984-1994. He received MsD in Chemistry in 1962, PhD in Chemical Engineering in 1968, and ScD (habilitation) in Chemical Engineering in 1973, all from Warsaw TU. Visiting professor in Universities: Budapest (Physics), Bern (Physiology), Trondheim (Chemical Physics), San Diego SU (Mathematics), Delaware (Chemical Engineering), and, several times, Chicago (Chemistry). Recognized for applications of analytical mechanics and optimal control in engineering. Author or co-author of about 250 papers and many books: Optimization in Process Engineering (WNT Warsaw 1991); Practice in Optimization (with Z. Szwast; WNT, Warsaw 1982); Conservation Laws in Variational Thermo-Hydrodynamics (Kluwer, Dordrecht 1995); Energy Optimization in Process Systems and Fuel Cells (with J. Jeżowski; Elsevier, Oxford 2009 and 2013); Thermodynamic Approaches in Engineering Systems (Elsevier, Oxford 2016).

Affiliations and Expertise

Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

Henrik Farkas

Affiliations and Expertise

Budapest University of Technology and Economics


"This book will be valuable for mathematicians, physicists, chemists, and engineers, in particular those involoved in the application of the mathematical and thermodynamic knowledge to systems with energy generation and transport, solar radiation, chemical waves, liquid crystals, thermo-elastic media, composites, multiphase flows, porous media, membrane transfer, microeconomics, etc." --INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF NONLINEAR SCIENCES AND NUMERICAL SIMULATION, 2006