The Application of Onsager's Reciprocal Relations to Thermoelectric, Thermomagnetic, and Galvanomagnetic Effects

Phys. Rev. 73, 1349 – Published 1 June 1948
Herbert B. Callen


Analysis of the thermoelectric, thermomagnetic, and galvanomagnetic effects by means of the reciprocal relations of Onsager leads to a simple and intuitive interpretation of the thermoelectric effects, provides a valid derivation of the Kelvin relations, and answers the long standing question as to the existence of relations among the effects in a magnetic field. It is shown that there exist two independent relations among the eight commonly defined coefficients in a magnetic field—one of these relations having been previously given by Bridgman. The nature of the second relation is discussed. Also, certain general observations on the applicability of the Onsager relations to steady-state processes are discussed.


  • Received 2 January 1948
  • Published in the issue dated June 1948

© 1948 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Herbert B. Callen

  • Laboratory for Insulation Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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