We establish that entropy production, which is crucial to the characterization of thermodynamic irreversibility, is obtained through a variational principle involving the Kulback-Leibler divergence. A simple application of this representation leads to an information-theoretical bound on entropy production in thermal relaxation processes; this is a stronger inequality than the conventional second law of thermodynamics. This bound is also interpreted as a constraint on the possible path of a thermal relaxation process in terms of information geometry. Our results reveal a hidden universal law inherent to general thermal relaxation processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)