Thermodynamic and physical properties of solids in electric fields

R. W. Munn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A new rotationally invariant electric displacement variable is defined as the thermodynamic conjugate of the rotationally invariant electric field variable. Piezoelectric and pyroelectric properties defined in terms of these thermodynamic variables have the full symmetry conferred by Maxwell relations. However, analogous properties defined in terms of the usual physical electrical variables in general differ from the thermodynamic properties, and do not obey Maxwell relations. The differences depend on the electrical conditions, but are nonzero in pyroelectric crystals even at zero electric field, because of the spontaneous polarization. This situation resembles that found for thermoelastic properties, which differ according to whether they are defined in terms of the physical Cauchy stress or the thermodynamic stresses (tensions). In each case analogous quantities coincide only at constant strain and rotation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3213-3222
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Physics C: Solid State Physics
    Issue number22
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 1973


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