WIT Press


Ecodynamics: The Quest For Evolutionary Physics

Price

Free (open access)

Paper DOI

10.2495/ECO050011

Volume

81

Pages

11

Published

2005

Size

1,295 kb

Author(s)

E. Tiezzi

Abstract

The challenge for sustainable development needs a shift of paradigm towards an evolutionary point of view and also needs new modeling tools to investigate complex ecosystems and the related dynamics. This paper is an attempt to develop the new discipline of ecodynamics as a quest for evolutionary physics and ecoinformatics. Particular attention is devoted to goal functions, to the relation of conceptualizations surrounding matter, energy, space and time and to the interdisciplinary approach connecting thermodynamics and biology. The evolutionary dynamics of complex systems, ranging from open physical and chemical systems (strange attractors, oscillating reactions, dissipative structures) to ecosystems has to be investigated in terms of far from equilibrium thermodynamics (Prigogine). The theory of probability is discussed in light of new theoretical findings related to the role of events, also in terms of entropy and evolutionary thermodynamics. Keywords: entropy, evolutionary thermodynamics, ecodynamics, probability. 1 Introduction More than a hundred years ago, in 1886, Ludwig Boltzmann [1], one of the fathers of modern physical chemistry, was concerned with the relation between energy and matter in scientific terms. According to Boltzmann, the struggle for life is not a struggle for basic elements or energy but for the entropy (negative) available in the transfer from the hot sun to the cold Earth. Utilizing this transfer to a maximum, plants force solar energy to perform chemical reactions before it reaches the thermal level of the Earth’s surface.

Keywords

entropy, evolutionary thermodynamics, ecodynamics, probability.