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Symmetry 2010, 2(2), 916-934; doi:10.3390/sym2020916

Miscellania about Entropy, Energy, and Available Free Energy

Technical University Berlin, General Woyna Str. 12, 13403 Berlin, Germany
Received: 25 February 2010 / Revised: 12 April 2010 / Accepted: 14 April 2010 / Published: 19 April 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entropy, Order and Symmetry)
Download PDF [556 KB, uploaded 19 April 2010]


While the main concepts of thermodynamics are universal, the application to specific systems is not. Thus, the universal concepts combined with specific constitutive relations permit the derivation of important results in such fields as diverse as physics, chemistry, physical chemistry, chemical engineering and rheology. In all of these fields equilibrium is characterized either by a maximum of entropy or by a minimum of available free energies, depending on boundary data. In the latter case there is a compromise between the entropic tendency to grow and the energetic tendency to decrease. After some historical considerations the situation is illustrated for several specific cases: planetary atmospheres, osmosis and elastic rubber molecules, pertaining to physics, chemistry and rheology respectively. Afterwards, in the later parts of the article, thermodynamics considerations are extrapolated to remote fields, to wit evolutionary genetics and sociology.
Keywords: thermodynamics; availability; extrapolation; genetics; sociology thermodynamics; availability; extrapolation; genetics; sociology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Müller, I. Miscellania about Entropy, Energy, and Available Free Energy. Symmetry 2010, 2, 916-934.

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