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PHYSICS OF PLASMAS 15, 032307 共2008兲

“Maximum” entropy production in self-organized plasma boundary layer:

A thermodynamic discussion about turbulent heat transport
Z. Yoshida1 and S. M. Mahajan2
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Chiba 277-8561, Japan
Institute for Fusion Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA
共Received 19 November 2007; accepted 11 February 2008; published online 24 March 2008兲
A thermodynamic model of a plasma boundary layer, characterized by enhanced temperature
contrasts and “maximum entropy production,” is proposed. The system shows bifurcation if the heat
flux entering through the inner boundary exceeds a critical value. The state with a larger temperature
contrast 共larger entropy production兲 sustains a self-organized flow. An inverse cascade of energy is
proposed as the underlying physical mechanism for the realization of such a heat engine.
© 2008 American Institute of Physics. 关DOI: 10.1063/1.2890189兴

I. INTRODUCTION production. We carry out such an enquiry by studying the

thermodynamics of a simple generic model of a fluid bound-
Two seemingly opposite “principles” have been formu-
ary layer 共region with large gradients兲 in which a specified
lated to accord “entropy” a controlling role even in the non-
heat flux enters form the left while the right boundary is kept
equilibrium thermodynamics of macroscopic systems. The
at a fixed temperature by a heat bath. We will show that the
first, the principle of minimum entropy production, has
system exhibits bifurcation; two distinct stable states of tem-
proven to be a highly successful ansatz, powerful enough to
perature distribution are possible. The total heat flux is the
predict a variety of self-organized structures in nonlinear
controlling parameter; when it is greater than a critical value,
systems.1 The second, the principle of maximum entropy pro-
the system favors the state with a larger temperature contrast.
duction, first proposed by Paltridge,2 also seems to work
We will also proffer a set of feasibility arguments; in particu-
rather well for some fluid systems that may maximize the
lar, we will discuss how such purely thermodynamic consid-
entropy production by simultaneously enhancing temperature
erations 共devoid of electromagnetism兲 could be relevant to
inhomogeneity. Paltridge and co-workers3–5 invoked this
H-modes and ITBs formed in tokamak plasmas.
concept to explain the heat transport between warm tropics
and cool high latitudes of the Earth; other planets also appear
to prefer maximizing the entropy production.6 Ozawa et al.7 II. THERMODYNAMIC RELATIONS
pointed out that the maximum entropy production may be a We start with the first law of thermodynamics
general consequence of fluid-mechanical instabilities 共such
as Bénard convection or Kelvin–Helmholtz instabilities兲 that dU = ␦Q − ␦W, 共1兲
can work as a heat engine. Dewar8 developed a statistical- relating the change in internal energy dU with ␦Q, the heat
mechanical model of nonequilibrium flux-driven systems, absorbed and ␦W, the work done by the system. We will
where the maximum entropy production is related to the distinguish between the changes in state variables and other
most probable “paths” of transitions. general variables; the former 共latter兲 will be denoted by
It is quite obvious that something so counterintuitive as dX 共␦Y兲. In this notation, the second law is written as
the principle of maximum entropy production, must be an- ␦Q = T共dS − ␦Si兲 with T and S as temperature and entropy,
chored in processes that must necessarily lead to quasiequi- respectively. The quantity ␦Si共ⱖ0兲 denotes internal entropy
librium states which maximally depart from thermal equilib- production. Introducing a positive constant Tref measuring a
rium. States that maximize temperature gradients seem tailor reference temperature, we may rewrite Eq. 共1兲 as
made for such processes. Since the standard fluid mechanical
instabilities seem to be able to create such states, one won- ␦W = ␦Q − TrefdS − 共dU − TrefdS兲
ders if there is a greater generality to the phenomenon:
Would, for example, fluidlike instabilities in electromagnetic
systems also conspire to create states with sharp gradients?

= 1−
冊␦Q − Tref␦Si − 共dU − TrefdS兲. 共2兲

And if yes, will it be reasonable to try to understand such The first term on the right-hand side of Eq. 共2兲 gives the
states as maximizing entropy-production? maximum work achievable in a reversible process 共Carnot’s
In this paper we attempt to bring into this general fold theorem兲. The second term 共−Tref␦Si ⱕ 0兲, proportional to the
one of the most spectacular expressions of self-organization internal entropy production, diminishes ␦W in an irreversible
manifested in the high-confinement, high pressure gradient process. The third term 共dU − TrefdS兲, consisting of exact
tokamak discharges, the H-mode, or discharges with an in- forms, does not contribute to the integral over any closed
ternal transport barrier 共ITB兲.9 It is tempting to enquire if the “cycle.”
gross features of phenomena of this genre could be “pre- For an open fluid 共plasma兲 system, one could define the
dicted” and explained by the principle of maximum entropy thermodynamic variables 共␦W, ␦Q, U, S, etc.兲 for each mass

1070-664X/2008/15共3兲/032307/6/$23.00 15, 032307-1 © 2008 American Institute of Physics

032307-2 Z. Yoshida and S. M. Mahajan Phys. Plasmas 15, 032307 共2008兲

element; these will be called “specific energy,” “specific en- T0 of the heat bath. The inner-boundary temperature T1
tropy,” and so on. Their variations 共dX or ␦Y兲 are calculated 共whose value measures the layer temperature gradients兲,
along the streamline. Writing the time derivative of an exact however, is the essential parameter that needs to be deter-
共nonexact兲 variable as dX / dt 共Ẏ兲, the rate of work done is mined. The outer-boundary heat flux F0 must balance F1 in a
found from Eq. 共2兲, quasisteady state 共then, we write F1 = F0 = F兲.

冉 冊
We neglect the mass flow across both boundaries. Con-
Tref d sequently the boundary terms in Eq. 共4兲 go to zero. We as-
Ẇ = 1 − Q̇ − TrefṠi − 共U − TrefS兲. 共3兲
T dt sume that Ẇ works only internally to drive a flow in ⍀ 共the
Integrating Eq. 共3兲 over a domain ⍀ 共fixed兲, we obtain a energy transformation between the thermal energy and the
macroscopic energy balance relation. Denoting by dM the mechanical energy of collective motion may be represented
mass element, the total amount of some state variable X by Ẇ or its dual Q̇ = Ẇ兲. The entropy production Ṡi is,
共evaluated for a unit mass兲 is given by X̄ = 兰XdM. Note that by definition, internal in the domain. However, the layer
this representation uses the Lagrangian frame 共dM moves may exchange the heat Q̇ with the exterior. In terms of the
with the fluid兲. To evaluate the time derivative of X̄, it is heat flow vector f 共Q̇␳ = −ⵜ · f兲, 1 / Tref times the first term
convenient to use the Eulerian frame. With defining the mass on the right-hand side of Eq. 共5兲 may be manipulated as
density ␳, we may write dM = ␳d3x, where d3x is the volume 共dM = ␳d3x兲,

冕冉 冊 冕冉 冊
element 共Lebesgue measure兲 of the laboratory frame. We ob-
serve, using the mass conservation law ⳵␳ / ⳵t + ⵜ · 共v␳兲 = 0 1 1 1 1
− Q̇␳d3x = − − n · fd2x
共v is the flow velocity兲, ⍀ Tref T ⳵⍀ Tref T
X̄ = 冕 ⳵
⍀ ⳵t
共X␳兲d3x − 冕 冉冊

1 3

= 冕冋

册 冕
共X␳兲 + ⵜ · 共vX␳兲 d3x −

ⵜ · 共vX␳兲d3x = 冋冉 1

Tref T1
冊 冉
F1 −

Tref T0
F0 冊册
= 冕冉

冊 冕
X + v · ⵜX ␳d3x −
共n · v兲␳Xd2x − 冕⍀
ṠDdM , 共6兲

= 冕冉 冊 冕

X dM −
共n · v兲␳Xd2x, 共4兲 where we have denoted 关f · ⵜ共1 / T兲兴 = ṠD␳ 共T and n · f are as-
sumed to be constant on both boundaries兲. The first term of
Eq. 共6兲 represents the “entropy emission rate” through the
where n is the unit normal vector, directed outward, on the boundaries. The second term in Eq. 共6兲 is the “entropy pro-
boundary ⳵⍀, and dX / dt = ⳵X / ⳵t + v · ⵜX is the convective duction rate” due to the 共irreversible兲 energy flow f.
共Lagrangian兲 derivative. If we assume that the mass flow is Hereafter, we set the reference temperature Tref = T0 共the
confined in the domain, 共n · v兲␳X must vanish on the bound- heat bath temperature兲. Using Eq. 共6兲 transforms Eq. 共5兲 to
ary. In what follows, we omit the mass flow through the
In a “quasistationary state” 共could be far from thermal
equilibrium兲, a sufficiently long-term average of a state vari-
冕 冉 冊
ẆdM = 1 −
F1 − T0 冕 共ṠD + Ṡi兲dM . 共7兲

able must be constant. Hence, we may assume that the vol- If the heat were to transport only by diffusion in a sta-
ume integral of the state variables 共U and S兲 are constant. tionary medium 共viz., Ẇ = 0兲, the entropy production 共and,
Integrating Eq. 共3兲 over all fluid elements, then, yields thus, the entropy emission兲 is minimized10 for the “harmonic

冕 ẆdM = 冕冉 1−

Q̇dM − Tref 冕 ṠidM . 共5兲
heat flow” 共ⵜ · f = 0兲, i.e., Eq. 共7兲 holds with Ẇ = 0 and Ṡi = 0.
In a general quasisteady state, the mechanical energy
共plasma flow energy; in the rest of the paper, the work done,
Generally, the variations of nonexact variables may take and the excitation-dissipation of the flow will be used ex-
finite values even in a quasistationary state. Indeed, Eq. 共5兲 changeably兲 must saturate, and thus, 兰ẆdM = 0 共by the first
gives the estimate of the long-term average work 共power兲 of law of thermodynamics, 兰ẆdM = F1 − F0, and, in a quasi-
a quasistationary thermodynamic engine.
steady state, F1 = F0 = F兲. However, local Ẇ may remain non-
zero. Excitation 共Ẇ ⬎ 0兲 and dissipation 共Ẇ ⬍ 0兲 of flow may
III. QUASISTATIC LAYER SYSTEM occur at different space-time locations, and they might have
We will now study the thermodynamics of an idealized different scales associated with them; the scale separation
plasma “layer” bounded from the inside by an internal core between excitation and dissipation processes will be dis-
plasma, and from the outside by a cold heat bath. We will cussed in Sec. VI. In the macroscopic energy balance equa-
specify the total heat flux F1 entering the layer through the tion 共7兲, the influence of the flow on heat transport may be
inner boundary ⌫1 in contact with the core plasma. The tem- accounted by the entropy production term 兰共ṠD + Ṡi兲dM. We
perature of the outer boundary ⌫0 is fixed by the temperature note that, in an initial transient phase, F0 may be smaller than
032307-3 “Maximum” entropy production… Phys. Plasmas 15, 032307 共2008兲

F1 and there is power available to generate flows 共兰ẆdM T1共P兲 − T0 = ␩共P兲F, 共8兲
= F1 − F0兲. Then, entropy production will increase to balance
the “heat-engine drive” as a quasisteady state is approached. where P is the power to drive the flow 共to be determined
If one were to invoke the ansatz of “maximum entropy later as a function of F兲, T1共P兲 is the inner boundary tem-
production” the internal entropy production term must ac- perature that is a function of P 共and, thus, of F兲, and ␩共P兲 is
quire the largest accessible value. Although in a transient the impedance 共inverse diffusivity兲. Although we have high-
phase, the entropy production rate 共energy dissipation rate兲 lighted the P dependence of ␩, it could be a function of other
may assume any arbitrary value, in a quasistationary state, it system parameters.
is bound by the total entropy emission 关that is proportional to Determination of the function ␩共P兲 will require rather
the first term on the right-hand side of Eq. 共7兲兴; the factor involved analysis and computational studies. But that is not
共1 − T0 / T1兲 insures that the entropy emission increases as the the aim of this effort. Instead, we proceed by constructing an
difference between T1 and T0 increases. Maximum entropy explicitly solvable but reasonable model to extract the nec-
production is, therefore, fundamentally tied to maximum essary conditions on ␩共P兲 that might produce a new state—a
temperature inhomogeneity. At the same time, the factor flow-dominated transport barrier, for example. For this pur-
共1 − T0 / T1兲 scales the maximum work that can be done by the pose, we assume a simple parameterization of ␩共P兲,
heat engine. Since work done is synonymous with changes in
the flow energy, and the maximum entropy production and ␩共P兲 = ␩0 + ␩1共P兲 = ␩0 + aP, 共9兲
the maximum work done are controlled by the same tem-
where a is a constant. We shall see below that a positive a
perature difference factor, it follows that entropy production
共increasing the effective inverse diffusivity, and thus, de-
will be maximized, if in the layer, a large temperature inho-
creasing the prevailing diffusivity兲 can be the harbinger of a
mogeneity is excited/maintained/accompanied by large
phase transition.
plasma flows. Such a quasistate, if found to be stable, will be
The baseline impedance ␩0 = ␩共0兲 characterizes the am-
surely far from thermal equilibrium, and will need to be sus-
bient state in the absence of flows. Naturally this coefficient
tained by an external input, for example, the heat flux enter-
varies from system to system and is, in general, complicated
ing the layer from the core plasma.
and often unknown. The “diffusion” in a tokamak, for ex-
ample, is known to be anomalous 共driven by ambient turbu-
lent fluctuations兲 yielding much higher heat-transfer rates as
compared to the purely collisional transport rates. When we
IV. MODEL OF HEAT TRANSPORT apply this model to tokamaks, the turbulent diffusive heat
transport will define the reference or the “ground state.” To
In order to maximize temperature inhomogeneity, the develop the main features of our model, however, we do not
system must involve a mechanism that can fight and over- need to know much about ␩0; it is fully equivalent to speci-
come processes like heat diffusion that tend to minimize the fying the reference inner boundary temperature
temperature inhomogeneity 共diminishing the entropy produc-
tion兲. To work out some details of such a general “mecha- TD ⬅ T1共0兲 = T0 + ␩0F, 共10兲
nism,” it is helpful to dwell on an example drawn from the
attained by the flowless ambient state. We assume that the
tokamak H-mode experiments where it is found that the tran-
inter-relationships are defined by Fick’s law, F = D⌬T / ⌬x,
sition to a high gradient state is always accompanied with the
where ⌬x is the layer thickness and D 共=⌬x / ␩0兲 is the heat
generation of a strong sheared flow. We understand that this
diffusion coefficient 共assuming a slab geometry and constant
qualitative thermodynamic model cannot even pretend to
D, the heat flux of the diffusion is f = −D ⵜ T that is a constant
capture the complicated physics of the H-mode transition,
vector兲. The entropy production associated with this diffu-
but we believe that this transition does share some of the
defining characteristics of the model layer problem that we sion process is 兰ṠDdM = 共T −10 − T D 兲F.

are investigating. Consequently, this mode of enquiry may All we are interested in, from now on, is to demonstrate
shed some conceptual light on this very important phenom- that additional processes, like self-generated flows 共possibly
enon. through an instability兲 allow us to reach solutions for which
Let us imagine a scenario in which some generic flow T1共P兲 ⱖ TD ⬎ T0. Using Eqs. 共8兲–共10兲, we eliminate ␩0 to ar-
共collective motion of particles兲 acts to sustain the tempera- rive at
ture inhomogeneity 共bringing about an excess of entropy
production兲. If the flow can enhance the temperature con- T1共P兲 = TD + aPF. 共11兲
trasts, the power Ẇ available for driving the flow increases; The model 共8兲 and 共9兲 can be represented by an equiva-
this positive feedback can, then, become the cause of a trans- lent circuit shown in Fig. 1, where TD may be considered as
port barrier. an intermediate temperature 共voltage兲 between two different
For a transparent formulation of the problem, let us in- impedances, ␩0 and ␩1共P兲. However, we are not considering
voke a simple transport model in which the temperature dif- separate “regions” in the layer for both impedances.
ference between the inner and the outer boundary is con- The next step is to estimate the power P available
trolled by a flow dependent heat diffusivity 共and the entering to generate the flow. We must subtract the power wasted
heat flux F兲 via through the ubiquitous entropy production in a diffusive
032307-4 Z. Yoshida and S. M. Mahajan Phys. Plasmas 15, 032307 共2008兲

. Q’
. 10
W diffusion

T1 TD T0

FIG. 1. Equivalent diagram of a heat engine in a boundary layer. If

⌬T* ⬎ 0, the heat engine can work to drive flow 共P is the power driving the F=1
flow; Q̇⬘ is the dissipated power; in steady state, P = Q̇⬘兲. The flow produces
an additional “nonlinear impedance” Z = ␩1共P兲 that sustains the temperature
5 10
contrast ⌬T* yielding a free energy to drive the flow itself.

FIG. 2. Bifurcation of solutions 关intersections of the graphs y = g共⌬T*兲 and

y = ⌬T*兴. If g⬘共0兲 ⬎ 1, we have the second branch of solutions with
⌬T* ⬎ 0. In this graph, parameters are T0 = 1, a = 2, ␩0 = 1, and F = 1, 10.
process, T0关T −1 0 − T D 兴F, from the maximum power

Pmax = 关1 − T0 / T1共P兲兴F available in an ideal Carnot process


P = Pmax − T0 冉 1

冊 冉
F = T0

TD T1共P兲
F. 冊 共12兲
g⬘共0兲 =
⬎ 1, 共16兲

However, not all of this P can appear as the flow energy where the ⬘ denotes differentiation with respect to ⌬T*. Re-
because of inherent damping mechanisms 共additional en- membering that TD = T0 + ␩0F contains F, the condition 共16兲
tropy production兲. The coefficient a multiplying P in Eq. 共9兲 translates as 共for a ⬎ 0兲
can be viewed as some sort of an efficiency factor, and scales
the overall influence of the flow on the thermal transport. T0
F ⬎ Fmin ⬅ 共17兲
Equations 共11兲 and 共12兲 are simultaneous in T1 and P, 冑T 0 a − ␩ 0 .
we can solve them for either. We first solve for T1 deter-
For positive heat flow into the layer from the inner
mined by
boundary 共F ⬎ 0兲, the threshold condition 共17兲 is meaningful

T1 = TD + aF2 冉 T0 T0

, 冊 共13兲
only if the edge temperature T0 is sufficiently high so that

T0 ⬎ 共18兲
or equivalently, a
aF2T0⌬T* is satisfied. It is interesting that in this model, a very cold
⌬T* = ⬅ g共⌬T*兲, 共14兲
共TD + ⌬T*兲TD outer edge could prevent the transition even for arbitrary
amounts of heat flux input into the layer.
where ⌬T* ⬅ T1 − TD measures the temperature increase Notice that the existence or the essential nature of the
共caused by the flows兲 at the inner boundary from its diffusive bifurcation of solutions does not depend on the detailed
reference value. There are two solutions of Eq. 共13兲:

shape of the function ␩共P兲, as long as ␩⬘共P兲 ⬎ 0. For an ␩共P兲
more general than Eq. 共9兲, the bifurcation condition 共16兲
TD ,
T1 = 共15兲
aF2T0/TD .
␩⬘共0兲F2T0 ␩⬘共0兲F2T0
g⬘共0兲 = = ⬎ 1, 共19兲
The first is simply the reference diffusive one and occurs 共T0 + ␩0F兲2 TD2

when P = 0.
It is the second solution, capable of supporting a higher and the minimum heat flux and the minimum temperature are
temperature contrast 共T1 ⬎ TD兲 as shown below, that is the given by replacing a by ␩⬘共0兲 in Eqs. 共17兲 and 共18兲, respec-
primary object of our search; it is accompanied by, in fact, is tively.
driven by a finite P, and its very definition T1 ⬎ TD turns out
to be exactly the “bifurcation” condition. The graphical so-
lution of Eq. 共14兲 for ⌬T*, shown in Fig. 2, illustrates how V. STABILITY OF THE BIFURCATED STATE
the second solution can emerge in ⌬T* ⬎ 0. When the graph
of y = g共⌬T*兲 goes over that of y = ⌬T* near the origin The stability of each equilibrium point is determined by
⌬T* = 0, they will intersect at some point in ⌬T* ⬎ 0, yield- evaluating the response of T1 to a perturbation ␦T. We can
ing a solution of Eq. 共14兲. This condition reads as imagine the following chain of events:
032307-5 “Maximum” entropy production… Phys. Plasmas 15, 032307 共2008兲

T0 dered flow; unless F is large enough 共larger than a threshold

␦T → ␦ P = F ␦T value兲, the engine does not work, i.e., the high temperature-
contrast state is not accessible.
T0 Since the high temperature-contrast state is the final
→ ␦␩ = aF ␦T
T21 product of the heat engine, the factor measuring the
temperature-contrast, 共1 − T0 / T1兲 scales the strength of the
→ ␦T1 = aF2 ␦T ⬅ ␣␦T. two seemingly contradictory constituent processes: the Car-
T21 not efficiency for generating mechanical energy 共flow兲, and
If ␣ ⬎ 1 共␣ ⬍ 1兲, the equilibrium temperature T1 is unstable the entropy production 共emission兲. Such a state of affairs
共stable兲, because the perturbation is amplified 共diminished兲. could pertain if, for instance, the dissipation mechanisms that
If this cycle of processes takes a period of time ␶, the evo- create the total entropy 共including the “damping” of the flow
lution of the perturbation may be written as ␦T共t兲 = e␥t␦T共0兲 Q̇⬘ = P兲 were independent of the mechanisms that convert the
with ␥ = 共log ␣兲 / ␶. “free energy” into an ordered flow.
Let us first examine the stability of the trivial state T1 The two opposing mechanisms could, indeed, act inde-
= TD = T0 + ␩0F. Below the bifurcation point, i.e., aF2T0 / TD2
pendently and simultaneously if the “domains” of their effi-
ⱕ 1 关see Eq. 共16兲兴, cient operation were nonoverlapping. We propose that a re-
2 course to scale-separation does precisely what is needed: 共1兲
␣ ⬅ aF2 ⱕ =1 the total entropy production is dominated by small scale per-
T21 T21 turbations with a large damping rate 共⬀L−2; L: eddy size兲
共equality holds at the bifurcation point兲, the trivial state is keeping the eddy amplitudes 共sacrifice for the dissipation兲 to
stable. For fluxes above the bifurcation threshold, however, be very small. 共2兲 The flow, being a coherent macroscopic
the trivial state becomes unstable. On the other hand, the structure, is created in the large scale, perhaps, from an in-
high T1共⬎TD兲 state 共T1 = aF2T0 / TD兲, if it exists, is always stability driven by the entering heat flux F; its creation/
stable, because we have characteristics are not affected by the short scale dissipation
responsible for entropy production.
T0 TD Thus the existence of a scale-hierarchy allows the sys-
␣ ⬅ aF2 = ⬍ 1.
T21 T1 tem to transition to a state that can maintain order while
maximizing disorder. This transition is an expression of self-
organization of the “heat engine;” the self-organization, most
likely, taking place through the so-called “dual-cascade” pro-
VI. MULTISCALE FLOW-TURBULENCE cess investigated in two-dimensional 共2D兲 turbulence. Using
SYSTEM this approach, Hasegawa and Wakatani11 predicted self-
The working of the model “heat engine” we constructed organization of “zonal flows” in electrostatic turbulence of
to sharpen temperature gradients in a plasma layer, depends plasmas.
on the concurrent expression of two contradictory processes: The canonical example of two-dimensional turbulence,
the processes that create disorder 共maximum entropy produc- however, is provided by the 2D Navier–Stokes system12
tion兲 and processes that create order 共generation of flows兲. where the dual cascade is facilitated by the existence of two
The sharper temperature gradients result because the coher- different ideal constants of motion, the energy, and the en-
ent flow suppresses the ambient turbulence-caused diffusive strophy. When fluctuations are excited 共by an instability兲 at
heat transport, which, in the language used in this paper is an intermediate range of wave numbers, the energy and the
equivalent to an increased impedance 关␩共P兲 ⬎ ␩0兴. enstrophy move in opposite directions in the wave number:
One is, of course, more familiar with the “principle” of the energy transfers, through the inverse cascade route, to-
“minimum entropy production” widely applied to explain ward larger scales 共gets ordered兲, while the enstrophy goes to
self-organization of “ordered structures;” the flow being the the small-scale dissipation range 共gets disordered兲. At the
ordered structure. In this narrative, large entropy production large-scale, a flow self-organizes, and the stretching effect
is believed to destroy coherent structures and the system is suppresses turbulent transport. It should be noted that these
pushed toward a disordered state. processes have been shown to function only in a 2D fluid; in
One is forced to ask, then: What is it that we have done three dimensions 共3D兲 the vortex-tube stretching effect vio-
differently? What is the essential ingredient that enables the lates the ideal conservation of the enstrophy. A 3D tokamak
simultaneous enhancement of entropy production, and the plasma, however, has an advantage over the 3D neutral fluid;
channeling of energy into ordered motion 共flow兲? the strong axial magnetic field imparts an effective 2D be-
Going back to the essentials of the model, we note that havior to the confined plasma so that simpler 2D fluid like
the only possible new element that could impart this non- considerations could be relevant to H-mode layers and ITBs.
standard behavior to the engine is our choice of the inner In the standard approach for exploring the large-scale
boundary condition; instead of specifying the temperature T1 structure of the flow, one sets up a variational principle; a
at the inner boundary, we have chosen to specify the amount constrained minimization of enstrophy while keeping the en-
of heat flux F entering the layer. In fact it is F that brings in ergy constant 共as well as the total angular momentum兲.11,12
the energy that would be eventually channeled into an or- The minimum enstrophy principles, naturally, implies “mini-
032307-6 Z. Yoshida and S. M. Mahajan Phys. Plasmas 15, 032307 共2008兲

mum entropy production” because the dissipation is propor- Japanese Ministry of Education, Science, and Culture. The
tional to the enstrophy. research of S.M.M. was supported by U.S. Department of
In our model, however, the conventional variational Energy Grant No. DE-FG02-04ER54742.
principle is essentially stood on its head; the relevant new
principle will constitute a dual13 or an antitheses of the old 1
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P. H. Wyant, A. Mongroo, and S. Hameed, J. Atmos. Sci. 45, 189 共1988兲.
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H. Grassl, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 107, 153 共1990兲.
flux F is given, the entropy production rate is bounded, S. Shimozawa and H. Ozawa, Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 128, 2115 共2002兲.

冕 冉 冊
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1 1 F2␩共P兲 F DOI: 10.1029/2000GL012336 共2001兲.
共ṠD + Ṡi兲dM = − F= ⬍ . 7
T0 T1 T0关T0 + F␩共P兲兴 T0 H. Ozawa, S. Shimokawa, and H. Sakuma, Phys. Rev. E 64, 026303
Hence, the enstrophy 共dissipation兲 is bounded, supplying us
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Here, the “minimum” means that Ṡi = 0 共so that Ẇ = 0兲, but not minimizing
the maximum energy appears in the large-scale of the hier- ṠD with examining the relation between the distributions of the tempera-
archy. ture T, heat flux f, and the diffusion coefficient. For a critical analysis of
Thus the working of this somewhat peculiar “heat en- “minimum entropy production” in a fluid system, see E. Barbera, Con-
tinuum Mech. Thermodyn. 11, 327 共1999兲.
gine” described in this paper can be understood in the back- 11
A. Hasegawa and M. Wakatani, Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 1581 共1987兲.
drop of processes and ideas that have been invoked to study 12
A. Hasegawa, Adv. Phys. 34, 1 共1985兲.
a variety of self-organizing systems. Special and distinguish- 13
Examples of a pair of dual variational principles are: 共1兲 for a fixed pe-
ing feature of this system is that when the entering heat flux rimeter, find a curve that maximizes the area of its enclosed region 共iso-
F exceeds a well-defined threshold, a transition to a stable perimetric problem兲, 共2兲 for a fixed area, find a curve that minimize the
state with enhanced temperature gradients occurs. Simple perimeter. Note that the opposite problems are “ill-posed”: 共1’兲 for a fixed
perimeter, find a curve that minimizes the area of its enclosed region, 共2’兲
thermodynamics can capture the essential qualitative features for a fixed area, find a curve that maximized the perimeter. To formulate a
of the transition as well as of the new state. well-posed variational principle, the target functional to be maximized
共minimized兲 must be “higher-order” 共“lower-order”兲 in comparison to the
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS functional representing the constraint. In a variational principle of field
theory, “higher-order” means that the functional includes higher-order de-
The work of Z.Y. was supported by Grants-in-Aid for rivatives. The enstrophy is higher-order with respect to the energy; see Z.
Scientific Research Nos. 14102033 and 19340170 from the Yoshida and S. M. Mahajan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 88, 095001 共2002兲.