Special Issue "Thermodynamics and Information Theory of Living Systems"

A special issue of Entropy (ISSN 1099-4300). This special issue belongs to the section "Entropy and Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Bernat Corominas-Murtra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Science and Technology Austria, Am Campus 1, 3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria
Interests: biophysics; information theory; stem cells; statistical mechanics; networks
Dr. Artemy Kolchinsky
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Santa Fe Institute, 1399 Hyde Park Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA
Interests: information theory; thermodynamics of computation; stochastic thermodynamics; complex systems; biosemiotics
Prof. Rudolf Hanel
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Medical University of Vienna, Spitalgasse 23, A-1090 Vienna, Austria;
2. Complexity Science Hub Vienna Josefstädter Strasse 39, A-1080 Vienna, Austria
Interests: information theory; non-equilibrium statistical mechanics; non-linear dynamics; complex systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the defining features of living systems is their ability to process, exchange and store large amounts of information at multiple levels of organization, ranging from the biochemical to the ecological. At the same time, living entities are non-equilibrium—possibly at criticality—physical systems that continuously exchange matter and energy with structured environments, all while obeying the laws of thermodynamics. These properties not only lead to the emergence of biological information, but also impose constraints and trade-offs on the costs of such information processing. Some of these costs arise due to the particular properties of the material substrate of living matter in which information processing takes place, while others are universal and apply to all physical systems that process information.

In the past decade, the relationship between thermodynamics and information has received renewed scientific attention, attracting an increasing number of researchers and achieving significant progress. Despite this, the field is full of open problems and challenges at all levels, especially when dealing with biological systems. In spite of these difficulties, continued progress has the potential to fundamentally shape our future understanding of biology.

In this Special Issue we encourage researchers from theoretical biology, statistical physics, neuroscience, information theory, and complex systems to present their research on the connection between thermodynamics and information, with special emphasis on their implications for biological phenomena. We welcome contributions that focus on a particular biological system, as well as contributions that propose general theoretical approaches. We also welcome contributions that use mathematical techniques from statistical physics (variational methods, fluctuation theorems, uncertainty relations, etc.) to investigate biological questions.

Dr. Bernat Corominas-Murtra
Dr. Artemy Kolchinsky
Prof. Rudolf Hanel

Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short 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 thoroughly refereed through a single-blind 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.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • biophysics
  • stochastic thermodynamics
  • thermodynamics of information
  • information theory of living systems
  • non-equilibrium thermodynamics
  • thermodynamics of living systems
  • information processing in living systems

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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