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Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1152-1170; doi:10.3390/e15041152

Entropy and Entropy Production: Old Misconceptions and New Breakthroughs

1 Institute of Industrial Ecology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 20 S. Kovalevskaya St. Ekaterinburg, 620219 Russia 2 Ural Federal University, 19 Mira St., Ekaterinburg 620002, Russia 
Received: 17 January 2013 / Revised: 11 March 2013 / Accepted: 18 March 2013 / Published: 26 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximum Entropy Production)
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Persistent misconceptions existing for dozens of years and influencing progress in various fields of science are sometimes encountered in the scientific and especially, the popular-science literature. The present brief review deals with two such interrelated misconceptions (misunderstandings). The first misunderstanding: entropy is a measure of disorder. This is an old and very common opinion. The second misconception is that the entropy production minimizes in the evolution of nonequilibrium systems. However, as it has recently become clear, evolution (progress) in Nature demonstrates the opposite, i.e., maximization of the entropy production. The principal questions connected with this maximization are considered herein. The two misconceptions mentioned above can lead to the apparent contradiction between the conclusions of modern thermodynamics and the basic conceptions of evolution existing in biology. In this regard, the analysis of these issues seems extremely important and timely as it contributes to the deeper understanding of the laws of development of the surrounding World and the place of humans in it.
Keywords: Prigogine’s principle; Ziegler’s principle; applicability of MEPP; Jaynes’s maximization; biological evolution Prigogine’s principle; Ziegler’s principle; applicability of MEPP; Jaynes’s maximization; biological evolution
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Martyushev, L.M. Entropy and Entropy Production: Old Misconceptions and New Breakthroughs. Entropy 2013, 15, 1152-1170.

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