Thermodynamics

A Thermodynamic Theory of Economics

Publication date:
2007-06-01
First published in:
International Journal of Exergy
Authors:
J. Bryant
Abstract:

An analogy between thermodynamic and economic theories and processes is developed further, following a previous paper published by the author in 1982. Economic equivalents are set out concerning the ideal gas equation, the gas constant, pressure, temperature, entropy, work done, specific heat and the 1st and 2nd Laws of Thermodynamics. The law of diminishing marginal utility was derived from thermodynamic first principles. Conditions are set out concerning the relationship of economic processes to entropic gain. A link between the Le Chatelier principle and economic processes is developed, culminating in a derivation of an equation similar in format to that of Cobb Douglas production function, but with an equilibrium constant and a disequilibrium function added to it. A trade cycle is constructed, utilising thermodynamic processes, and equations are derived for cycle efficiency, growth and entropy gain. A thermodynamic model of a money system is set out, and an attempt is made to relate interest rates, the rate of return, money demand and the velocity of circulation to entropy gain. Aspects concerning the measurement of economic value in thermodynamic terms are discussed.

Published in: International Journal of Exergy, Volume 4, Issue 3, Pages 302-337
Available from: Inderscience Publishers
also available from: Vocat International Ltd

Thermodynamics and the Economic Process

Publication date:
2008-12-01
First published in:
http://www.vocat.co.uk/
Authors:
John Bryant
Abstract:

This paper develops further a a model of the economic process concerning the application of thermodynamic laws to economics. The paper sets out relationships between economic output and capital, labour, resource and waste stocks, with specific reference to energy, and is backed up by analysis of data of world energy resources and climate change. the paper concludes that both energy resource availability and climate change will have significant, limiting effects on the forward path of economic development.

Published in: Vocat International Ltd
Available from: Vocat International Ltd

Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics

Publication date:
1994-01-01
First published in:
Mathematical and Computer Modelling
Authors:
E.D. Schneider & J.J. Kay
Abstract:

We examine the thermodynamic evolution of various evolving systems, from primitive physical systems to complex living systems, and conclude that they involve similar processes which are phenomenological manifestations of the second law of thermodynamics. We take the reformulated second law of thermodynamics of Hatsopoulos and Keenan and Kestin and extend it to nonequilibrium regions, where nonequilibrium is described in terms of gradients maintaining systems at some distance away from equilibrium. The reformulated second law suggests that as systems are moved away from equilibrium they will take advantage of all available means to resist externally applied gradients. When highly ordered complex systems emerge, they develop and grow at the expense of increasing the disorder at higher levels in the system's hierarchy. We note that this behaviour appears universally in physical and chemical systems. We present a paradigm which provides for a thermodynamically consistent explanation of why there is life, including the origin of life, biological growth, the development of ecosystems, and patterns of biological evolution observed in the fossil record. We illustrate the use of this paradigm through a discussion of ecosystem development . We argue that as ecosystems grow and develop, they should increase their total dissipation, develop more complex structures with more energy flow, increase their cycling activity, develop greater diversity and generate more hierarchical levels, all to abet energy degradation. Species which survive in ecosystems are those that funnel energy into their own production and reproduction and contribute to autocatalytic processes which increase the total dissipation of the ecosystem. In short ecosystems develop in ways which systematically increases their ability to degrade the incoming solar energy. We believe that our thermodynamic paradigm makes it possible for the study of ecosystems to be developed from a descriptive science to a predictive science founded on the most basic principle of physics.

Published in: Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Volume 19, Issues 6-8, March-April 1994, Pages 25-48
Available from: ScienceDirect

The Development of an Ecological Economics

Publication date:
1999-01-01
First published in:
Journal of Business Administration and Policy Analysis
Authors:
R. Costanza et al
Abstract:

Ecology and economics have developed as separate disciplines throughout their recent histories in the 20th century. While each has addressed the way in which living systems self-organize to enable individuals and communities to meet their goals, and while each has borrowed theoretical concepts from the other and shared patterns of thinking with other sciences, they began with different first principles, addressed separate issues, utilized different assumptions to reach answers, and supported different interests in the policy process...

Published in: Journal of Business Administration and Policy Analysis, 1999, 1 January

Biophysical constraints to economic growth

Publication date:
2003-11-23
First published in:
Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems, http://www.eolss.com/
Authors:
Cutler J. Cleveland
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