Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics in Biology: from Chemical Reaction Networks to Natural Selection
Monday, June 14 at 11:30am (PDT)Monday, June 14 at 07:30pm (BST)Tuesday, June 15 03:30am (KST)
John Baez (University of California, Riverside, USA), William Cannon (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, USA), Larry Li (University of California, Riverside, USA)
Since Lotka, physical scientists have argued that living things belong to a class of complex and orderly systems that exist not despite the second law of thermodynamics, but because of it. Life and evolution, through natural selection of dissipative structures, are based on non-equilibrium thermodynamics. The challenge is to develop an understanding of what the respective physical laws can tell us about flows of energy and matter in living systems, and about growth, death and selection. This session will address current challenges including understanding emergence, regulation and control across scales, and entropy production, from metabolism in microbes to evolving ecosystems.