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Discourse on order vs. disorder

By Arto Annila and Keith Baverstock


The second law of thermodynamics is on one hand understood to account for irrevocable flow of energy from the top down, on the other hand it is seen to imply irreversible increase of disorder. This tension between the 2 stances is resolved in favor of the free energy consumption when entropy is derived from the statistical mechanics of open systems. The change in entropy is shown to map directly to the decrease in free energy without any connotation attached to disorder. Increase of disorder, just as order, is found to be merely a consequence of free energy consumption. The erroneous association of disorder with entropy stems from an unwarranted assumption that a system could undergo changes of state without concomitant dissipation, i.e., a change in energy

Topics: disorder, free energy, the principle of increasing entropy; the principle of least action, the second law of thermodynamics, Biology (General), QH301-705.5
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Group
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.1080/19420889.2016.1187348
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