Second law analysis gives a very different perspective on our resource consumption and the realities of our economy. Unfortunately the fundamental realities revealed by second law analysis have not been embraced by economics and hence this discipline is misguided.
Self-organization is about the emergence of dissipative systems. The essence of these systems is that they develop and support structure by dissipating the exergy in the energy that flows through them. An understanding of self-organizing phenomena, including living systems, must have as a cornerstone, second law analysis and the concept of exergy. We are only beginning to appreciate the ramifications of this realization.
An introduction to the subject which one of my students and I wrote for high school use:
Availability, Exergy, the Second Law and all that......
An Annotated Bibliography
"Exergy Analysis of Eco-Systems: Establishing a Role for the Thermal Remote Sensing"
Ecosystems as Self-organizing Holarchic Open Systems: Narratives and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics
Musings on The second law of thermodynamics and self-organization
The relationship between information theory and thermodynamics: the mathematical basis (90K PDF file)
(To be added soon)
Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1993, "Exergy Degradation, Thermodynamics, and the Development of Ecosystems" in Tsatsaronis G., Szargut, J., Kolenda, Z.,Ziebik, Z., (eds) Energy, Systems, and Ecology, Volume 1,Proceedings of ENSEC' 93, July 5-9 Cracow, Poland., pp. 33-42
Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1994 "Complexity and Thermodynamics:Towards a New Ecology", Futures 24 (6) pp.626-647, August 1994
Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1995, "Order from Disorder: The Thermodynamics of Complexity in Biology", in Michael P. Murphy, Luke A.J. O'Neill (ed), "What is Life: The Next Fifty Years. Reflections on the Future of Biology", Cambridge University Press, pp. 161-172
The international on line journal exergy
Goran Wall's WWW site: exergy.se
Back to About....
Back to JK Home page
Last updated 8 May, 2002.