The “adiabatic” piston: And yet it moves
Université Libre de Bruxelles, Campus Plaine - 1050 Bruxelles,
2 Limburgs Universitair Centrum - B-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium
Accepted: 5 November 1999
We perform molecular dynamic simulations of a system consisting of an insulating piston, which separates two gases of hard disks, each initially at equilibrium at the same pressure but at different temperatures and densities. Upon releasing the piston, we monitor how the system returns to the global thermodynamic equilibrium with equal temperature and density on both sides. The approach of the piston to its final position is well described by an exponential law, while the heat flux is, to a good approximation, found to be proportional to the temperature difference.
PACS: 02.50.-r – Probability theory, stochastic processes, and statistics / 64.60.Cn – Order-disorder transformations; statistical mechanics of model systems
© EDP Sciences, 2000