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Seminar: Ivan R. Kennedy (University of Sydney, Australia)

Ivan R. Kennedy, PhD DSc(Agric)
Director, SUNFix Centre for Nitrogen Fixation
Associate Dean (Research)
Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources,
University of Sydney, NSW Australia

Monday, May 12 12:00PM, ITE Building, Rm 227

Biothermodynamics for sustainability: Revisiting entropy in the form of biological action directed by DNA

The doctrine of increasing disorder usually said to be predicted by the 2nd Law has given entropy a needlessly bad press. A more positive view of entropy relates it to the physical property of action; entropy then acts as a capacity factor indicating the distribution of energy needed to sustain the current action at a level greater than Planck’s quantum of action characteristic of zero Kelvin. We can consider life as a set of purposive action processes, dependent for its maintenance on access to specific forms of stored action potential or free energy. In this overview (which will consider entropy in all three of its thermal, statistical and action aspects) the thesis that the DNA code-script provides highly selected information needed by living organisms to ensure their survival, by directing available energy towards specific actions, will be discussed.