living systems and 2nd law of thermo??????
sbe at biochem.usyd.edu.au
Tue Sep 26 02:18:41 EST 1995
rray at ix.netcom.com (ROMAN RAY ) wrote:
> Living sytems have order. Why does this not violate the second law
It does not violate the second law - this law only applies to *isolated*
systems - those which can not exchange heat or matter with their
surroundings. Living cells/organisms are *open* sytems because they
exchange both heat and matter (nutrients/excreta) with their
If you do the measurements/calculations on a living system *plus* its
surroundings, then any decrease in the entropy of the living system (an
increase in its "order") is more than balanced by an increase of the
entropy of the surroundings.
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