Thermodynamics and Information Theory: Stability considerations about porous media
A session of "The Fourth Biot Conference on Poromechanics"(, Columbia University, 8-10 June 2009


When Biot developed the theory of fluid mixtures and stability of porous media, he recognized the difficulties posed by the Gibbs Paradox ( Three of his papers are closely related to the resolution of Gibbs Paradox. He is also well-known for the work on variational principles in thermodynamics (see a list of his thermodynamics papers

When a porous medium is subjected to thermodynamic studies, "containers" of the fluids must be considered as part of the system under study, but thermodynamics treat the fluid (gases, liquids or solutions) body as the concerned system. The heat engine system considered in thermodynamics does not include the container. What is worse, Gibbs Paradox (for a list of relevant literature, see states that the separation of the porous medium to form a bulky fluid phase and a pure bulky solid phase would not lead to any change in thermodynamic parameters; these two structures are of the same stability, which, intuitively, must be wrong.  Recently carried out active studies on Gibbs Paradox shed some light on this fundamental problem and, if agreed and accepted, the conclusions can be used as a theoretical foundation to study the stability of porous structures.

I would like to invite you to contribute a talk or a poster for the session of "Thermodynamics and Information Theory" where the stability characterization of porous media will be our main concern, in addition to other aspects of stability studies. Experts who work on mechanical aspects may find the thermodynamics and information theory approaches very useful. You may download the flyer at

One-page abstracts can be submitted by e-mail at (deadline: 31 May 2008), indicating the "Thermodynamics and Information Theory" session. You may find my own abstract at

Shu-Kun Lin, Ph.D.
Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), Matthaeusstrasse 11, CH-4057 Basel,
Switzerland; Tel. (+41) 79 322 3379; Fax: (+41) 61 302 8918; E-mail:;

Basel, 18 April 2008