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Encyclopedia > Entropy and life

Over the last century, much writing and research has been devoted to the relationship between the thermodynamic quantity entropy and the evolution of life. The 1944 book What is Life? by Nobel-laureate physicist Erwin Schrödinger served largely to stimulate this research. In this book, Schrödinger states that life feeds on negative entropy, or negentropy as it is sometimes called. Recent writings have utilized the concept of Gibbs free energy to elaborate on this issue. Ice melting - classic example of entropy increasing[1] described in 1862 by Rudolf Clausius as an increase in the disgregation of the molecules of the body of ice. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). ... What is Life? is a non-fiction book on science for the lay reader written by physicist Erwin Schrödinger (ISBN 0521427088). ... The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: ) are awards in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physiology or Medicine and Economics. ... Articles with similar titles include physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (August 12, 1887 – January 4, 1961) was an Austrian physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1933. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy is a thermodynamic potential which measures the useful work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. ...

Contents

Origin

In 1863, Rudolf Clausius published his noted memoir "On the Concentration of Rays of Heat and Light, and on the Limits of its Action" wherein he outlined a preliminary relationship, as based on his own work and that of William Thomson, between his newly developed concept of entropy and life. Building on this, one of the first to speculate on a possible thermodynamic perspective of evolution was the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann. In 1875, building on the works of Clausius and Kelvin, Boltzmann reasoned: Rudolf Clausius - physicist and mathematician Rudolf Julius Emanuel Clausius (January 2, 1822 – August 24, 1888), was a German physicist and mathematician. ... William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, FRSE, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was a mathematical physicist, engineer, and outstanding leader in the physical sciences of the 19th century. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann (Vienna, Austrian Empire, February 20, 1844 – Duino near Trieste, September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist famous for his founding contributions in the fields of statistical mechanics and statistical thermodynamics. ...

The general struggle for existence of animate beings is not a struggle for raw materials – these, for organisms, are air, water and soil, all abundantly available – nor for energy which exists in plenty in any body in the form of heat, but a struggle for entropy, which becomes available through the transition of energy from the hot sun to the cold earth.
The solar system from a thermodynamic systems perspective.

Look up hot, HOT in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up cold in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (997x376, 32 KB) Source: http://www. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (997x376, 32 KB) Source: http://www. ... Major features of the Solar System (not to scale; from left to right): Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, the asteroid belt, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth and its Moon, and Mars. ... In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is defined as that part of the universe that is under consideration. ...

Early views

In 1876, American civil engineer Richard Sears McCulloch, in his Treatise on the Mechanical Theory of Heat and its Application to the Steam-Engine, which was an early thermodynamics textbook, states, after speaking about the laws of the physical world, that "there are none that are established on a firmer basis than the two general propositions of Joule and Carnot; which constitute the fundamental laws of our subject." McCulloch then goes on to show that these two laws may be combined in a single expression as follows: Richard Sears McCulloch (1818 – 1894) was an American civil engineer and professor of mechanics and thermodynamics at the Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia. ... James Joule - English physicist James Prescott Joule, FRS (December 24, 1818 – October 11, 1889) was an English physicist, born in Sale, Cheshire. ... Sadi Carnot Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot (June 1, 1796 - August 24, 1832) was a French mathematician and engineer who gave the first successful theoretical account of heat engines, the Carnot cycle, and laid the foundations of the second law of thermodynamics. ...

where

S = entropy
dQ = equals a differential amount of heat passed into a thermodynamic system
τ = absolute temperature

McCullen then declares that the applications of these two laws, i.e. what are presently known as the first law of thermodynamics and the second law of thermodynamics, are innumerable. He then states: Ice melting - classic example of entropy increasing[1] described in 1862 by Rudolf Clausius as an increase in the disgregation of the molecules of the body of ice. ... In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is defined as transfer of thermal energy [1] Generally, heat is a form of energy transfer associated with the different motions of atoms, molecules and other particles that comprise matter when it is hot and when it is cold. ... In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is defined as that part of the universe that is under consideration. ... Thermodynamic temperature is the absolute measure of temperature and is one of the principal parameters of thermodynamics. ... The first law of thermodynamics, a generalized expression of the law of the conservation of energy, states: // Description Essentially, the First Law of Thermodynamics declares that energy is conserved for a closed system, with heat and work being the forms of energy transfer. ... The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. ...

When we reflect how generally physical phenomena are connected with thermal changes and relations, it at once becomes obvious that there are few, if any, branches of natural science which are not more or less dependent upon the great truths under consideration. Nor should it, therefore, be a matter of surprise that already, in the short space of time, not yet one generation, elapsed since the mechanical theory of heat has been freely adopted, whole branches of physical science have been revolutionized by it.

McCulloch then gives a few examples of what he calls the “more interesting examples” of the application of these laws in extent and utility. The first example he gives, is physiology wherein he states that “the body of an animal, not less than a steamer, or a locomotive, is truly a heat engine, and the consumption of food in the one is precisely analogous to the burning of fuel in the other; in both, the chemical process is the same: that called combustion.” He then incorporates a discussion of Lavoisier’s theory of respiration with cycles of digestion and excretion, perspiration, but then contradicts Lavoisier with recent findings, such as internal heat generated by friction, according to the new theory of heat, which, according to McCullen, states that the “heat of the body generally and uniformly is diffused instead of being concentrated in the chest”. McCullen then gives an example of the second law, where he states that friction, especially in the smaller blooded-vessels, must develop heat. Without doubt, animal heat is thus in part produced.” He then asks: “but whence the expenditure of energy causing that friction, and which must be itself accounted for? The lunar farside as seen from Apollo 11 Natural science is the rational study of the universe via rules or laws of natural order. ... In the history of science, the theory of heat was a term used during the 18th and 19th centuries to describe a number of laws, relations, and experimental phenomenon in relation to heat; those such as thermometry, calorimetry, combustion, specific heat, and discussions as to the quantity of heat released... Leonardo da Vincis Vitruvian Man, an important early achievement in the study of physiology. ... A heat engine is a physical or theoretical device that converts thermal energy to mechanical output. ... Vapours of hydrogen chloride in a beaker and ammonia in a test tube meet to form a cloud of a new substance, ammonium chloride A chemical reaction is a process that results in the interconversion of chemical substances. ... A combustion reaction taking place in a igniting match Combustion or burning is a complex sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat or both heat and light in the form of either a glow or flames. ... Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (August 26, 1743 – May 8, 1794) the father of modern chemistry, was a French nobleman prominent in the histories of chemistry, finance, biology, and economics. ... In the history of science, the theory of heat was a term used during the 18th and 19th centuries to describe a number of laws, relations, and experimental phenomenon in relation to heat; those such as thermometry, calorimetry, combustion, specific heat, and discussions as to the quantity of heat released... Friction is the force that opposes the relative motion or tendency toward such motion of two surfaces in contact. ...


To answer this question he turns to the mechanical theory of heat and goes on to loosely outline how the heart is what he calls a “force-pump”, which receives blood and sends it to every part of the body, as discovered by William Harvey, that “acts like the piston of an engine and is dependent upon and consequently due to the cycle of nutrition and excretion which sustains physical or organic life.” It is likely, here, that McCulloch was modeling parts of this argument on that of the famous Carnot cycle. In conclusion, he summarizes his first and second law argument as such: William Harvey William Harvey (April 1, 1578 – June 3, 1657) was an English medical doctor, who is credited with being the first to correctly describe, in exact detail, the properties of blood being pumped around the body by the heart. ... The Carnot cycle is a particular thermodynamic cycle, modeled on the Carnot heat engine, studied by Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot in the 1820s and expanded upon by Benoit Paul Émile Clapeyron in the 1830s and 40s. ...

Everything physical being subject to the law of conservation of energy, it follows that no physiological action can take place except with expenditure of energy derived from food; also, that an animal performing mechanical work must from the same quantity of food generate less heat than one abstaining from exertion, the difference being precisely the heat equivalent of that of work.

Conservation of energy states that the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant, although it may change forms (for instance, friction turns kinetic energy into thermal energy). ... Mechanical work is a force applied through a distance, defined mathematically as the line integral of a scalar product of force and displacement vectors. ... Conservation of energy also known as the first law of thermodynamics is possibly the most important, and certainly the most practically useful, of several conservation laws in physics. ...

What is life?

Later, building on this premise, in the famous 1944 book What is Life?, Nobel-laureate physicist Erwin Schrödinger theorizes that life, contrary to the general tendency dictated by the Second law of thermodynamics, decreases or maintains its entropy by feeding on negative entropy.[1] In a note to What is Life?, however, Schrödinger explains his usage of this term: What is Life? is a non-fiction book on science for the lay reader written by physicist Erwin Schrödinger (ISBN 0521427088). ... The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: ) are awards in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physiology or Medicine and Economics. ... Articles with similar titles include physician, a person who practices medicine. ... Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (August 12, 1887 – January 4, 1961) was an Austrian physicist who achieved fame for his contributions to quantum mechanics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in 1933. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). ... The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...

Let me say first, that if I had been catering for them [physicists] alone I should have let the discussion turn on free energy instead. It is the more familiar notion in this context. But this highly technical term seemed linguistically too near to energy for making the average reader alive to the contrast between the two things.

This is what is argued to differentiate life from other forms of matter organization. In this direction, although life's dynamics may be argued to go against the tendency of second law, which states that the entropy of an isolated system tends to increase, it does not in any way conflict or invalidate this law, because the principle that entropy can only increase or remain constant applies only to a closed system which is adiabatically isolated, meaning no heat can enter or leave. Whenever a system can exchange either heat or matter with its environment, an entropy decrease of that system is entirely compatible with the second law.[2] The common justification for this argument, for example, according to renowned chemical engineer Kenneth Denbigh, from his 1955 book The Principles of Chemical Equilibrium, is that "living organisms are open to their environment and can build up at the expense of foodstuffs which they take in and degrade."[2] The free energy is a measure of the amount of mechanical (or other) work that can be extracted from a system, and is helpful in engineering applications. ... For other uses, see Life (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In thermodynamics, a closed system, as contrasted with an isolated system, can exchange heat and work, but not matter, with its surroundings. ... In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is defined as transfer of thermal energy [1] Generally, heat is a form of energy transfer associated with the different motions of atoms, molecules and other particles that comprise matter when it is hot and when it is cold. ... In thermodynamics, an open system is one whose border is permeable to both energy and mass. ...


In 1964, James Lovelock was among a group of scientists who were requested by NASA to make a theoretical life detection system to look for life on Mars during the upcoming space mission. When thinking about this problem, Lovelock wondered “how can we be sure that Martian life, if any, will reveal itself to tests based on Earth’s lifestyle?” [3] To Lovelock, the basic question was “What is life, and how should it be recognized?” When speaking about this puzzling issue with some of his colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he was asked, well what would you do to look for life on Mars? To this Lovelock replied: James Lovelock in front of a statue of Gaia in 2000 Dr James Ephraim Lovelock CH CBE FRS, (born July 26, 1919) is an independent scientist, author, researcher, environmentalist and futurologist who lives in Cornwall, in the south west of Great Britain. ... The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an agency of the United States federal government, responsible for the nations public space program. ... An electron microscope reveals bacteria-like structures in meteorite fragment ALH84001 For other uses of Life on Mars, see Life on Mars (disambiguation). ... The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), in Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge, near Los Angeles, California, USA, builds and operates unmanned spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). ...

I’d look for an entropy reduction, since this must be a general characteristic of life.

Thus, according to Lovelock, to find signs of life, one must look for a “reduction or a reversal of entropy.”


Gibbs free energy

In recent years, the thermodynamic interpretation of evolution in relation to entropy has begun to utilize the concept of the Gibbs free energy, rather than entropy. This is because biological processes on earth take place at roughly constant temperature and pressure, a situation in which the Gibbs free energy is an especially useful way to express the second law of thermodynamics. The Gibbs free energy is given by: In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy is a thermodynamic potential which measures the useful work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. ... The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. ...

The minimization of the Gibbs free energy is a form of the principle of minimum energy, which follows from the entropy maximization principle for closed systems. Moreover, the Gibbs free energy equation, in modified form, can be utilized for open systems when chemical potential terms are included in the energy balance equation. In the popular textbook 1982 textbook Principles of Biochemistry by noted American biochemist Albert Lehninger, it is argued that the order produced within cells as they grow and divide is more than compensated for by the disorder they create in their surroundings in the course of growth and division. In short, according to Lehninger, "living organisms preserve their internal order by taking from their surroundings free energy, in the form of nutrients or sunlight, and returning to their surroundings an equal amount of energy as heat and entropy."[4] The neutrality of this article is disputed. ... The principle of maximum entropy is a method for analyzing the available information in order to determine a unique epistemic probability distribution. ... In thermodynamics, an open system is one whose border is permeable to both energy and mass. ... In thermodynamics and chemistry, chemical potential, symbolized by μ, is a term introduced in 1876 by the American mathematical physicist Willard Gibbs, which he defined as follows: Gibbs noted also that for the purposes of this definition, any chemical element or combination of elements in given proportions may be considered a... Albert Lester Lehninger (February 17, 1917 - March 4, 1986) was an American biochemist, and is widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of bioenergetics. ... The free energy is a measure of the amount of mechanical (or other) work that can be extracted from a system, and is helpful in engineering applications. ...


In 1998, noted Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev, in his book Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings, argues that evolution of living beings is governed by the tendency for quasi-equilibrium, semi-closed, hierarchical living systems to evolve in the direction that tends to minimize the Gibbs free energy of formation of each structure.[5][6] Variations of the Gibbs function of formation of a thermodynamic system at any stage of the evolution, for instance ontogenesis and phylogenesis, such as a social system, according to Gladyshev, "can be calculated by means of thermodynamic methods." Gladyshev calls this a form of sociological thermodynamics. Georgi P. Gladyshev - Russian physical chemist and thermodynamicist known for his 1978 thermodynamic theory of evolution. Georgi Pavlovich Gladyshev (born September 19, 1936 in Alma-Ata) is a Russian physical chemist and thermodynamicist known for his Gibbs free energy thermodynamic theory of evolution and for his anti-aging theories of... Quasistatic equilibrium is the quasi-balanced state of a thermodynamic system near to equilibrium in some sense or degree. ... In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy is a thermodynamic potential which measures the useful work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. ... In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is defined as that part of the universe that is under consideration. ... Ontogeny (also ontogenesis or morphogenesis) describes the origin and the development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form. ... Phylogenetic groups, or taxa, can be monophyletic, paraphyletic, or polyphyletic. ... See Social structure of the United States for an explanation of concepts exsistance within US society. ...


Similarly, according to the chemist John Avery, from his recent 2003 book Information Theory and Evolution, we find a presentation in which the phenomenon of life, including its origin and evolution, as well as human cultural evolution, has its basis in the background of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and information theory. The (apparent) paradox between the second law of thermodynamics and the high degree of order and complexity produced by living systems, according to Avery, has its resolution "in the information content of the Gibbs free energy that enters the biosphere from outside sources."[7] John Scales Avery, born in 1933 in Lebanon to American parents, is a theoretical chemist noted for his research publications in bioenergetics, thermodynamics, and quantum chemistry. ... Thermodynamics (from the Greek θερμη, therme, meaning heat and δυναμις, dunamis, meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of changes in temperature, pressure, and volume on physical systems at the macroscopic scale by analyzing the collective motion of their particles using statistics. ... Statistical mechanics is the application of probability theory, which includes mathematical tools for dealing with large populations, to the field of mechanics, which is concerned with the motion of particles or objects when subjected to a force. ... A bundle of optical fiber. ... The second law of thermodynamics is an expression of the universal law of increasing entropy. ... In thermodynamics, the Gibbs free energy is a thermodynamic potential which measures the useful work obtainable from a closed thermodynamic system at a constant temperature and pressure. ...


References

  1. ^ Schrödinger, Erwin (1944). What is Life - the Physical Aspect of the Living Cell. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-42708-8. 
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ Lovelock, James (1979). GAIA - A New Look at Life on Earth. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286218-9. 
  4. ^ Lehninger, Albert (1993). Principles of Biochemistry, 2nd Ed.. Worth Publishers. ISBN 0-87901-711-2. 
  5. ^ Gladyshev, Georgi (1998). Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings. Nova Science Publishers. ISBN 1560724579. 
  6. ^ Gladyshev G. P. (2006). "The Principle of Substance Stability is Applicable to all Levels of Organization of Living Matter" [PDF], Int. J. Mol. Sci., 7, 98-110 - International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS) (ISSN: 1422-0067 Online; ISSN: 1424-6783 CD-ROM; CODEN: IJMCFK).
  7. ^ Avery, John (2003). Information Theory and Evolution. World Scientific. ISBN 981-238-399-9. 

Nova Publishers is a New York publishing house whose Nova Science division publishes scientific research books in the fields of physics and medical research. ...

See also

Ice melting - classic example of entropy increasing[1] described in 1862 by Rudolf Clausius as an increase in the disgregation of the molecules of the body of ice. ... Boltzmanns molecules (1896) shown at a rest position in a solid In thermodynamics, entropy, historically, has often been associated with the amount of order, disorder, and or chaos in a thermodynamic system. ... Complexity theory can refer to more than one thing: Computational complexity theory: a field in theoretical computer science and mathematics dealing with the resources required during computation to solve a given problem Systems theory (or systemics or general systems theory): an interdisciplinary field including engineering, biology and philosophy that incorporates... A dissipative system (or dissipative structure) is an open system which is operating far from thermodynamic equilibrium within an environment that exchanges energy, matter or entropy. ...

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