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Encyclopedia > Thermodynamic evolution

Thermodynamic evolution is the thermodynamic study of the mechanism of evolution, specifically chemical evolution, as this process relates to the flux of thermal energy traversing from the sun. From a thermodynamic point of view, any thermodynamic system containing a set number of atoms and molecules set out of equilibrium as in via thermonuclear reactions, combustion reactions, etc., will continue to evolve until that point in time at which thermal equilibrium is reached. Accordingly, the plethora of life’s forms, comprising a set number of atoms and molecules, are structural entities found within the following thermodynamic system: Thermodynamics (from the Greek thermos meaning heat and dynamis meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of temperature, pressure, and volume changes on physical systems at the macroscopic scale. ... A phylogenetic tree of all living things, based on rRNA gene data, showing the separation of the three domains, bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes, as described initially by Carl Woese. ... Chemical evolution is a hypothesis which tries to explain how life might possibly develop from non-life (see abiogenesis). ... Thermal energy is kinetic energy of disordered motion and of vibrations of microscopic particles such as molecules and atoms. ... The Sun is the star at the centre of our Solar system. ... Thermodynamics (Greek: thermos = heat and dynamic = change) is the physics of energy, heat, work, entropy and the spontaneity of processes. ... Properties For alternative meanings see atom (disambiguation). ... In science, a molecule is the smallest particle of a pure chemical substance that still retains its chemical composition and properties. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... Combustion or burning is an exothermic reaction between a substance and a gas to release heat. ... In thermodynamics, a thermodynamic system is in thermodynamic equilibrium if its energy distribution equals a Maxwell-Boltzmann-distribution. ...

Contents


Overview

deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction.
Enlarge
deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction.

From a particle physics perspective, organisms are variations of bound state nuclei, electrons, and photons ‘forced’ to evolve owing to electromagnetic energy release emanating from solar thermonuclear reactions internal to the sun where hydrogen [H] converts to helium [He] releasing photons in the process. Generally speaking, in the biosphere, whenever a photon, i.e. a quantum of energy, absorbs into an atomic orbital, it triggers the upward movement of an electron in the correlative atomic-molecular shell such that resultantly the molecular structures involved become unstable and begin to move or evolve in time towards more stable arraignments. kuhy File links The following pages link to this file: Nuclear fusion ... kuhy File links The following pages link to this file: Nuclear fusion ... Deuterium, also called heavy hydrogen, is a stable isotope of hydrogen with a natural abundance of one atom in 6500 of hydrogen. ... Tritium (symbol T or 3H) is a radioactive isotope of hydrogen. ... Particles erupt from the collision point of two relativistic (100GeV) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ... In physics, a bound state is a composite of two or more building blocks (particles or bodies) that behaves as a single object. ... Electrical energy or Electromagnetic energy is a form of energy present in any electric field or magnetic field, or in any volume containing electromagnetic radiation. ... In physics, the photon (from Greek φοτος, meaning light) is a quantum of excitation of the quantised electromagnetic field and is one of the elementary particles studied by quantum electrodynamics (QED) which is the oldest part of the Standard Model of particle physics. ... Electron atomic and molecular orbitals A less formal description of the electrons in atoms can be found at Electron configuration. ...


From a thermodynamic perspective, the second law, being a principle of evolution, i.e. according to thermodynamicist Pierre Perrot author of the A to Z Dictionary of Thermodynamics, states in the general sense that “heat moves from hot to cold and work is extracted in the process”. Thus, in our solar-thermal-system heat moves from hot to cold and "evolutionary" work is extracted in the process. As an example, you are probably not reading this sentence while on vacation, rather you are most likely in the process of work directed towards some point of focused integration, organization, or unification in your life’s system and thus indirectly working to “evolve” your small subset of the world. Thermodynamics (Greek: thermos = heat and dynamic = change) is the physics of energy, heat, work, entropy and the spontaneity of processes. ... The most concise statement of the second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. ... A red-hot iron rod cooling after being worked by a blacksmith. ... Look up work in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


The series of thermonuclear reactions that produce the photonic energy that drives these evolutionary processes are called the proton-proton chain reactions, which produce a total solar power output, called luminosity, of 3.9E1026 watts. At the earth-space boundary, this electromagnetic energy enters the biosphere at rate of 1,370 Watts/meters2 [Kaufmann’s Universe (textbook), 4th Ed.]. This energy, in combination with uprising geothermal energy emanating from the earth’s core, over the last 4.6 billion years has stimulated the consortium of the 92 natural occurring elements of which the earth system is made to spontaneously synthesize the formation of life, which is generally agreed to have sprung into existence in the form of prokaryotes about 3.85 billion years ago [Margulis, L. & Sagan, D. (1997). What is Sex. New York: Simon & Schuster]. The proton-proton chain reaction is one of two fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to helium, the other being the CNO cycle. ... // In General Physics In general physics, luminosity (more properly called luminance) is the density of luminous intensity in a given direction. ... The biosphere is that part of a planets outer shell—including air, land, surface rocks and water—within which life occurs, and which biotic processes in turn alter or transform. ... Geothermal power is electricity generated by utilizing naturally occurring geological heat sources. ... Generally, an element is a basic part that is the foundation of something. ... Prokaryotes are unicellular (in rare cases, multicellular) organisms without a nucleus. ...


Debate

In this direction, as it is generally agreed that both life and non-life obey the laws of thermodynamics, there has been a push in recent years to explain the energetics behind the chemical evolution of life. This line of research defines thermodynamic evolution. There are three lines of argument in this regard: The laws of Thermodynamics in principle describe the specifics for the transport of heat and work in thermodynamic processes. ... Chemical evolution is a hypothesis which tries to explain how life might possibly develop from non-life (see abiogenesis). ...

  1. Life evolved via far-from-equilibrium thermodynamic processes (Prigoginean Thermodynamics)
  2. Life evolved via near-equilibrium thermodynamic processes (Information Theory, Gradient-based Thermodynamics, etc.)
  3. Life evolved via punctuated equilibrium thermodynamic processes (Gibbsian Thermodynamics)

The debate itself is deeply entrenched in paralleled logic and far from over. It remains to be agreed upon as to what type of “equilibrium” process evolution follows. As there is a continually flux of thermal energy through the earth system, one may argue that life’s processes are continually a great distance from equilibrium. Conversely, through the study of fossil record, one may argue that life’s processes are punctuated and return to equilibrium in periodic cycles. Or, as evolutionary change is gradual, one may argue for a near-equilibrium thermodynamic blend of reasoning.


From a biological standpoint, many approximate life to be a loose combination of quasistatic equilibrium, a process in which a system goes through a succession of close to equilibrium states plus punctuated equilibrium, evolution characterized by long periods of stability in the characteristics of an organism and short periods of rapid change during which new forms appear especially from small sub populations of the ancestral form in restricted parts of its geographic range. Quasistatic equilibrium is the quasi-balanced state of a thermodynamic system near to equilibrium in some sense or degree. ... Punctuated equilibrium, or punctuated equilibria, is a theory of evolution which states that changes such as speciation can occur relatively quickly, with long periods of little change—equilibria—in between. ...


History

Ludwig Boltzmann [1844-1906]
Ludwig Boltzmann [1844-1906]

One of the first to speculate on thermodynamic evolution was the Austrian physicist Ludwig Boltzmann who reasoned that: "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." This formulation of entropy evolution stimulated further debate which continues to this day. portrait of Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist probably PD, as Boltzmann died in 1906. ... portrait of Ludwig Boltzmann, physicist probably PD, as Boltzmann died in 1906. ... Ludwig Boltzmann Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist famous for the invention of statistical mechanics. ... For other senses of the term entropy, see entropy (disambiguation). ...


Towards the latter half of the twentieth century, several dominate thermodynamic researchers have theorized in this direction. The first to break ground was the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger, who in his famous "little" 1944 book What is Life? postulated in a somewhat riddled fashion that "life feeds on negative entropy". Yet, as he states in his endnotes, had he been writing for the physicist rather than the layperson, his focus would have been on the concept of free energy, but judged it too difficult a theme for the general audience. Erwin Schrödinger, as depicted on the former Austrian 1000 Schilling bank note. ... For other senses of the term entropy, see entropy (disambiguation). ... In thermodynamics, free energy is a measure of the amount of work that can be extracted from a system. ...


Theory

One of the most prevalent theories of thermodynamic evolution is the dissipative structure theory developed by the Belgian chemist Ilya Prigogine who followed a far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics route, theorizing that living structures are an evolved form of Bénard cells (see Prigogine's Nobel Lecture 1977) which formed owing to what are called bifurcations and fluctuations. This line of reasoning is one of the cornerstones of chaos theory. Prigogine’s most popular work is: Order out of Chaos [1984]. 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. ... Ilya Prigogine (January 25, 1917 – May 28, 2003) was a Belgian physicist and chemist noted for his work on dissipative structures, complex systems, and irreversibility. ... Bénard cells are obtained in a simple experiment that Bénard, a French physicist, conducted in 1900. ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... In mathematics and physics, chaos theory deals with the behavior of certain nonlinear dynamical systems that (under certain conditions) exhibit the phenomenon known as chaos, most famously characterised by sensitivity to initial conditions (see butterfly effect). ...


Contrasting with Prigogine, is the Russian physical chemist Georgi Gladyshev who in his seminal 1978 Journal of Theoretical Biology article "On the Thermodynamics of Biological Evolution" argues for a Gibbsian Thermodynamics theory of evolution via what is called the law of temporal hierarchies which justifies the application of free energy equations of state thermodynamics, i.e. constant temperature constant pressure states, to biospheric processes (see: hierarchical thermodynamics). Gladyshev theorizes that living entities are large supramolecular structures governed by the principle that the Gibbs function of formation will tend to a minimum over the course of both ontogeny and phylogeny (see Journal of Entropy Article [1999]). Gladyshev’s most popular work is: Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings [1997]. In physics and thermodynamics, an equation of state is a constitutive equation describing the state of matter under a given set of physical conditions. ... Ontogeny (also ontogenesis or morphogenesis) describes the origin and the development of an organism from the fertilized egg to its mature form. ... In biology, Phylogenetics (Greek: phylon = race and genetic = birth) is the taxonomical classification of organisms based on how closely they are related in terms of evolutionary differences. ...


Conversely, we may also theorize about evolution from the near equilibrium point of view, as American ecologist and thermodynamic researcher Eric Schneider has done in his 2005 book Into the Cool – Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life where we may argue that living entities are non-equilibrium thermodynamic dissipative structures which form owing to gradient degradation. Schneider argues that owing to the Second Law variation of Le Chatelier's principle, because the earth system has a continually existent hot-to-cold energy gradient, that living complex structures originate due to the inherent tendency to resist the applied gradient. 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. ... The most concise statement of the second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. ... In chemistry, Le Chateliers principle can be used to predict the effect of a change in conditions on a chemical equilibrium. ...


Second law paradox

Aside from this divisional debate as to which branch of thermodynamics governs evolution; there is also the “second law paradox” which questions the universal tendency for disorganization in isolated systems as contrasted with the universal tendency for organization in evolving systems. The most concise statement of the second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. ...


To provide a typical example of misuse of the second law in scientific circles, in her 1997 book “What is Sex” biologist Lynn Margulis, one of the primary originators of the endosymbiotic theory, declares “the famous second law of thermodynamics, the Grim Reaper of nature, states that disorder (entropy) in any closed system must increase.” Her technical mistake here is the misuse of the word “closed system”, implying energy but not matter may cross the system boundary, with the correct word “isolated system”, implying that nothing may cross the system boundary. In this manner, Margulis connects the Grim Reaper of life with the wrong version of the second law thus stimulating further confusion, and hence a perceived paradox. Lynn Margulis. ... The endosymbiotic theory concerns the origins of mitochondria and chloroplasts, which are organelles of eukaryotic cells. ... Death, personified is an anthropomorphic figure or a fictional character who has existed in mythology and popular culture since the earliest days of storytelling. ...


There is no apparent paradox however for those as physical chemists and chemical engineers trained in thermodynamics. The resolution of this paradox acknowledges that nature seeks to minimize free energy [H – TS] in open systems, which exchange energy with their surroundings acting as a thermal reservoir, and to maximize entropy [S] in isolated systems. The paradox arises out of misapplied assumption that all systems are isolated. In thermodynamics, free energy is a measure of the amount of work that can be extracted from a system. ... For other senses of the term entropy, see entropy (disambiguation). ...


Looked at another way, the entropy of the isolated system (e.g. the Universe) does increase, just as the Second Law requires it; however, the paradox resolves because the Second Law does not require the entropy of open systems (e.g. lifeforms) to increase. That is, the entropy of the Universe tends to increase, however, within this Universe, there are localized decreases of entropy (lifeforms) at the expense of even higher entropy increases elsewhere (such as food burning, solar energy generation, etc.), the net effect being an overall increase of entropy of the Universe.


Fundamental evolution

In recent years, many have made attempts to formulate a quantum mechanics based variation of thermodynamic evolution. For example, in 2005 the British mathematician Roger Penrose reasons, in his chapter "The Big Bang and its thermodynamic legacy" [The Road to Reality], that the concept of entropy is not an 'absolute' notion in present-day theory. As he states, however, there is a possibility that it might acquire a more fundamental status in the future. For this quantum physics would certainly be needed to be taken into consideration. His fundamental particle variation of the second law states that "Entropy per baryon tends to increase relentlessly and stupendously with time" [stipulation: positive cosmological constant]. These however, are only speculations and it remains to be seen as to which thermodynamic theory will hold in the long run. Fig. ... Roger Penrose Sir Roger Penrose, OM, FRS (born 8 August 1931) is an English mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford. ... For other senses of the term entropy, see entropy (disambiguation). ... Particles erupt from the collision point of two relativistic (100GeV) gold ions in the STAR detector of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider. ... In particle physics, an elementary particle is a particle of which other, larger particles are composed. ... In particle physics, the baryons are a family of subatomic particles including the proton and the neutron (collectively called nucleons), as well as a number of unstable, heavier particles (called hyperons). ... The cosmological constant (usually denoted by the Greek capital letter lambda: Λ) occurs in Einsteins theory of general relativity. ...


See

Thermodynamics (from the Greek thermos meaning heat and dynamis meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of temperature, pressure, and volume changes on physical systems at the macroscopic scale. ... Biological thermodynamics (Greek: bios = life and logikos = reason + Greek: thermos = heat and dynamics = power) is the study of energy transformation in the biological sciences. ... The most concise statement of the second law of thermodynamics states that the total entropy of any isolated thermodynamic system tends to increase over time, approaching a maximum value. ...

References

  • Adkins, P. (1984). The Second Law. New York: Scientific American Books.
  • Avery, J. (2003). Information Theory and Evolution. New Jersey: World Scientific.
  • Bennett, Charles H. (July 1990). "How to Define Complexity in Physics, and Why" Wojciech H. Zurek Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information, 137-148, Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0201515067.
  • Bennett, Charles H. (1985). "Information, Dissipation, and the Definition of Organization" David Pines Emerging Syntheses in Science, 297-313, Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0201156865.
  • Gladyshev, G. (1987). Thermodynamic Theory of the Evolution of Living Beings. New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc.
  • Haynie, D. (2001). Biological Thermodynamics. (textbook). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Perrot, P. (1998). A to Z of Thermodynamics (dictionary). New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Prigogine, I. (1984). Order out of Chaos. New York: Bantam Books.
  • Schneider, E. & Sagan, D. (2005). Into The Cool - Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Schrodinger, E. (1944). What is Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Charles H. Bennett Charles H. Bennett is an IBM Fellow at IBM Research. ... Charles H. Bennett Charles H. Bennett is an IBM Fellow at IBM Research. ...

External links

  • 2nd Law & Evolution - Frank Lambert's discussions on evolution (the most visited thermodynamics site on the internet).
  • Thermodynamics of Biological Evolution - Journal of Theoretical Biology (1978) 75, 425-441.
  • Hierarchical Thermodynamics - Georgi Gladyshev's "Gibbsian" thermodynamics of evolution. Institute of Chemical Physics (RAS).
  • Thermodynamics in Human History - a philosophical / thermodynamic analysis of human history.
  • Gradient-based Thermodynamics - a near-equilibrium "Progogine" thermodynamic website on evolution.
  • Evolutionary Neuroscience - a 2nd Law article on neurological development - Human Nature Review (2003) 3, 440-447.
  • Physical Biology - a University of Michigan "Center for Study in Complex Systems" [CSCS] recommended-reading list.
  • Thermodynamics, Evolution, and Behavior - Rod Swenson, Center for Ecological Study, University of Connecticut.

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Thermodynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1815 words)
Thermodynamics (from the Greek thermos meaning heat and dynamis meaning power) is a branch of physics that studies the effects of temperature, pressure, and volume changes on physical systems at the macroscopic scale.
Thermodynamic processes which develop so slowly as to allow each intermediate step to be an equilibrium state are said to be reversible processes.
As it is generally agreed that life evolved from non-life, a process called abiogenesis, by some form of chemical evolution, and as it is understood that both life and non-life abide by the laws of thermodynamics, then, in theory, it is reasoned that there should exist a functionable model of thermodynamic evolution.
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