Table of Contents
Physics Research International
Volume 2011, Article ID 387351, 18 pages
Review Article

Relativistic Thermodynamics: A Modern 4-Vector Approach

Departamento de Física Aplicada, Universidad de Cantabria, 39005 Santander, Spain

Received 5 April 2011; Accepted 8 July 2011

Academic Editor: Ashok Chatterjee

Copyright © 2011 J. Güémez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Using the Minkowski relativistic 4-vector formalism, based on Einstein's equation, and the relativistic thermodynamics asynchronous formulation (Grøn (1973)), the isothermal compression of an ideal gas is analyzed, considering an electromagnetic origin for forces applied to it. This treatment is similar to the description previously developed by Van Kampen (van Kampen (1969)) and Hamity (Hamity (1969)). In this relativistic framework Mechanics and Thermodynamics merge in the first law of relativistic thermodynamics expressed, using 4-vector notation, such as ΔUμ  =  Wμ  +  Qμ, in Lorentz covariant formulation, which, with the covariant formalism for electromagnetic forces, constitutes a complete Lorentz covariant formulation for classical physics.