Welcome to TFMST 2016 Homepage
When TFMST I was held in Lyon July 14-16, 2013 it was discovered that research activities were taking place in different institutions with the common aim of bringing thermodynamics at the quantum, molecular and macro scale together with mathematical systems theory to define a common platform for analysis, control, and optimization of networked mechanical and chemical processes. The central idea, as expressed tentatively by Jan Willems in his seminal papers on dissipative systems, is at least in part motivated by words of Einstein. He expressed “that thermodynamics is the only physical theory of universal content concerning which I am convinced that within the framework of the applicability of its basic concepts, it will never be overthrown.”
Classical thermodynamics, dissipation and passivity theory are concepts concerned with the study of internal stability of systems and how external actions alter fundamental properties such as energy, momentum, and entropy leading to motion, phase transition and self-organization at the macro-level despite chaotic/random behavior at the micro level. Such lines of thought led to a control theory for dissipative Hamiltonian systems that deal with applications in mechanics. In the same spirit, several research groups from Australia, Europe, and the US, deployed programs to connect irreversible thermodynamics with process control. Elements of the theory turned out to be useful for control design applications of mechanical and process systems and some of these applications and underlying theories were reviewed at TFMST I workshop in Lyon.
However, many questions were left open and there is not at present a common agreement on how to integrate the macroscopic theories of thermodynamics as expressed by the conservation of energy and dissipation through entropy production with control, non-convex optimization (for computation), differential geometry (for analysis) and the micro-, nano-, and quantum-scales. At the conclusion of the workshop it was suggested to extend the discussions to include complex and networked systems and phenomena occupying a varied range of time and spatial scales. Some theoretical developments may draw inspiration for the classical circuit approaches pioneered by Tellegen and Brayton-Moser.
The main aim of this workshop series is to explore connections between the abstract systems theory and our current understanding for how physical systems behave when they have dynamics constrained by conservation laws and express dissipation that can be related to maximization of entropy like functions.
Application domains may include, but are not limited to:
- Energy efficient chemical processes or processes related to the production of smart materials that usually take place in the micro or nano-scale.
- Biological phenomena from a cell (biochemical) level through a tissue/organism and up to the ecological interactions between organisms.
- The behavior and control of particulate systems
- Emergence of self-organizing behavior in networks of interacting agents where collective dynamics emerge from the consensus among a large number of ensemble members. Applications would cover fields such as ecology, robotics or socio-economy and more generally Cyber-Physical Systems.
- Control of large scale networked systems, such as chemical plants, integrating financial systems and sociological systems