Sunday, February 02, 2014

Physics Theory of Life

A New Physics Theory of Life

A physicist has proposed the provocative idea that life exists because the law of increasing entropy drives matter to acquire life-like physical properties

A computer simulation by Jeremy England and colleagues shows a system of particles confined inside a viscous fluid in which the turquoise particles are driven by an oscillating force. Over time, the force triggers the formation of more bonds among the particles.
Courtesy of Jeremy England
From Quanta Magazine (find original story here).

Why does life exist?
Popular hypotheses credit a primordial soup, a bolt of lightning and a colossal stroke of luck. But if a provocative new theory is correct, luck may have little to do with it. Instead, according to the physicist proposing the idea, the origin and subsequent evolution of life follow from the fundamental laws of nature and “should be as unsurprising as rocks rolling downhill.”
From the standpoint of physics, there is one essential difference between living things and inanimate clumps of carbon atoms: The former tend to be much better at capturing energy from their environment and dissipating that energy as heat. Jeremy England, a 31-year-old assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has derived a mathematical formula that he believes explains this capacity. The formula, based on established physics, indicates that when a group of atoms is driven by an external source of energy (like the sun or chemical fuel) and surrounded by a heat bath (like the ocean or atmosphere), it will often gradually restructure itself in order to dissipate increasingly more energy. This could mean that under certain conditions, matter inexorably acquires the key physical attribute associated with life./.../

1 comment:

Luiz Pellanda said...

Essa é uma variante de um teorema que desenvolvi: "Dado o spin do elétron, a complexificação é obrigatória, a vida e a inteligência, uma conseqüência."

Luiz E. Pellanda