In 1976 and then again in 1984, a series of six groundbreaking papers were published (Hatsopoulos and Gyftopoulos, 1976; Beretta et al. 1984; Beretta, Gyftopoulos, and Park, 1985), presenting a new formulation of thermodynamics, which simply and elegantly extends in a unified fashion the concepts of thermodynamics to quantum mechanics and the concepts of quantum mechanics to thermodynamics. It does so without the bridge traditionally used, i.e. statistical mechanics, eliminating a number of the ambiguities, tautologies, and inconsistencies (including a built-in violation of the 2nd Law) inherent in the presentations of both classical and statistical thermodynamics. This new formulation, called the Unified Quantum Theory of Mechanics and Thermodynamics, generalizes thermodynamics so that it applies to all systems large or small (including one particle systems) either in a state of thermodynamic (i.e. stable) equilibrium or not in a state of thermodynamic equilibrium. Intrigued by both the scientific and pedagogical possibilities of this new theory, the author began his own study and application of this new formulation in 1998. The present paper focuses on the foundational and pedagogical aspects of this new non-statistically based paradigm of physics and thermodynamics, which uses as its primitives inertial mass, force, and time and introduces the laws of thermodynamics in the most unambiguous and general formulations found in the literature. Not only does this new formulation or paradigm provide a clearer understanding of thermodynamics to the student and the practitioner, but it has the potential for revolutionizing how we understand and synthesize/design systems at a microscopic level since this paradigm, unlike the predominant statistically based paradigm of the last century and a half, allows one to extend down to the microscopic such concepts as generalized available energy (i.e. a special case of this property is the exergy) and entropy, properties which are already effectively applied to systems at the macroscopic level.

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