Special Issue "Equilibrium and Non-Equilibrium Entropy in the Origin of Life"
A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2012)
Dr. Eric Smith
Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501, USA
Interests: origin of life; non-equilibrium systems; population processes; early evolution of metabolism; statistical mechanics on structured domains
Boltzmann (Populäre Schriften, 1905) characterized the Darwin/Malthus struggle for existence as a struggle for free energy, and Schrödinger (What is Life?, 1944) centered the physics of life around rejection of entropy from biomass to the nonliving environment. The rise of the paradigms of self-organization and dissipative structures have since led to proposals that the emergence of life might be understood as a spontaneous rejection of entropy, perhaps carried out by processes related to those that maintain life today.
The half-century since Schrödinger has seen major advances of two kinds in our understanding of entropy as it might pertain to the origin of life. The first is within equilibrium thermodynamics: more is known about sources of free energy that sustain life on earth, and more diverse and complete quantitative models exist for biochemistry, physiology, and ecology. In parallel, advances in non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and its large-deviation theory have shown how the concept of entropy maximization continues to explain the emergence and robustness of non-equilibrium ordered states, in cases where the rate functions defining the appropriate entropies (now, effective actions) differ from the equilibrium free energies. The latter advances show how kinetics may preempt equilibrium thermodynamics as the source of relevant constraints on the formation and persistence of ordered non-equilibrium states.
In this volume we seek to bring together mathematical insights from both equilibrium and non-equilibrium thermodynamics with expertise from empirical domains relevant to the emergence and early evolution of life, including planetary and space chemistry, biochemistry, evolutionary dynamics ranging from physical self-organization to population processes, the dynamics of both chemically homogeneous (e.g. RNA) and heterogeneous populations of molecules, and separations of time and spatial scales that lead to the emergence of memory, compartmentalization, control systems, individuality, or levels of development and selection. Collaborations that unify such domains are especially solicited.
Dr. Eric Smith
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.
- Hadean atmosphere, ocean, and mineralogy
- hydrothermal vents
- mineral-mediated organosynthesis
- network combinatorics and autocatalysis
- hypergraphs and stoichiometry
- syntrophy and ecological stoichiometry
- systems biology
- synthetic biology
- control systems
- requisite variety
- tiny RNA
- genome integration and regulation
- compositional inheritance models
- emergence and evolution of individuality
- population processes
- horizontal gene transfer
- innovation sharing
- stochastic chemistry and Gillespie algorithms
- metal-ligand interactions
- kinetic theory
- reaction-diffusion theory
- Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy
- effective action and stochastic effective action
- Martin-Siggia-Rose, Doi-Peliti, and Freidlin-Wentzell methods
- fluctuation-dissipation theorems
- additivity principles
- intensive thermodynamic parameters
- dynamic large deviations
- (chemical and other) non-equilibrium work relations
- maximum entropy
- maximum entropy production (MEP)
- information physics
- optimal information processing
- Bayesian probability theory
Last update: 24 May 2012