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Quantum and Ecosystem Entropies

College of Marine and Earth Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA
Entropy 2008, 10(2), 58-70;
Received: 26 March 2008 / Revised: 12 June 2008 / Accepted: 15 June 2008 / Published: 17 June 2008
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Ecosystems and quantum gases share a number of superficial similarities including enormous numbers of interacting elements and the fundamental role of energy in such interactions. A theory for the synthesis of data and prediction of new phenomena is well established in quantum statistical mechanics. The premise of this paper is that the reason a comparable unifying theory has not emerged in ecology is that a proper role for entropy has yet to be assigned. To this end, a phase space entropy model of ecosystems is developed. Specification of an ecosystem phase space cell size based on microbial mass, length, and time scales gives an ecosystem uncertainty parameter only about three orders of magnitude larger than Planck’s constant. Ecosystem equilibria is specified by conservation of biomass and total metabolic energy, along with the principle of maximum entropy at equilibria. Both Bose - Einstein and Fermi - Dirac equilibrium conditions arise in ecosystems applications. The paper concludes with a discussion of some broader aspects of an ecosystem phase space. View Full-Text
Keywords: Entropy; ecology; quantum statistical mechanics. Entropy; ecology; quantum statistical mechanics.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kirwan, A.D., Jr. Quantum and Ecosystem Entropies. Entropy 2008, 10, 58-70.

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