Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Evolution From Simple to Complex

The question of how life began is a wonderful question for discussion.  If you asked this in conversation at a party think about the different answers that you would get.  If this were a party of physicist's (these parties can be lots of fun, trust me), here are some answers you might get.


Both are based on the second law of thermodynamics.  This law says that the entropy of any closed system stays the same or increases.  Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system.  It is also described as the number of ways that a system can be described microscopically without effecting how it is viewed macroscopically.  I'm not sure where is the boundary between the two.  A closed system is what you expect it to be, its a system where nothing gets in or out of the system.

I look at it in a similar manner.  All particle's wants to go to their lowest energy levels.  Excited electrons in an atom want to go to the  lowest possible energy level that it can while obeying the rules of quantum mechanics.  Objects fall since that decreases its gravitational potential energy.  Molecules form from atoms that give it the lowest energy configuration of the atoms involved in making the molecule, and so on  The molecule is the lowest energy configuration of the  combined atoms.  Something like this. maybe not as I have expressed it but similar.

This principle of minima or maxima is expressed using the calculus of variations and applied in physics using the principle of least action, sort of explained here along with some philosophical discussion at the end.

What do you think about this subject?

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