Volume 88, Number 2, October 2009
Article Number 20005
Number of page(s) 4
Section General
Published online 02 November 2009
EPL, 88 (2009) 20005
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/88/20005

Inverse-temperature 4-vector in special relativity

Zhong Chao Wu

Department of Physics, Zhejiang University of Technology - Hangzhou 310032, China

received 5 October 2009; accepted in final form 21 October 2009; published October 2009
published online 2 November 2009

There exist several prescriptions for identifying the notion of temperature in special relativity. We argue that the inverse-temperature 4-vector ${\boldsymbol{\beta}} $ is the only viable option from the laws of thermodynamics, and ${\boldsymbol{\beta}} $ is a future-directed timelike 4-vector. Using a superfluidity thought experiment, one can show that ${\boldsymbol{\beta}} $ is not necessarily along the time direction of the comoving frame of the system, as is usually thought. It is conjectured that, for an isolated system, the 4-vector is determined from the entropy-maximum principle.

05.70.-a - Thermodynamics.
03.30.+p - Special relativity.
05.90.+m - Other topics in statistical physics, thermodynamics, and nonlinear dynamical systems.

© EPLA 2009