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Mechanoevolution: The Possibility of Deeper Connections Between Information Theory and the Second Law

[+] Author Affiliations
Bradley E. Layton

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA; University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Paper No. IMECE2010-39329, pp. 627-634; 8 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Entropy, S is an extensive physical property with dimensions of energy per Kelvin. Information, I is an extensive mathematical metric with units of bits. If we consider discrete living systems such as individual organisms as well as discrete technological systems such as hand tools, automobiles, and computers as systems that maintain both a quantifiable specific energy throughput, φ and a quantifiable information throughput, İm at the expense of entropy production, , we can then begin to build a formal relationship among these three variables within organic, synthetic and hybrid systems. The combination of mass-specific energy and information throughput within a system results in a local partitioning of entropy: local entropy diminution causes global entropy acceleration. In general, as the symbioses between humans and machines become more tightly bound through a process termed “mechanoevolution,” the respective rates of information throughput, energy throughput, and thus entropy production accelerate towards a yet unknown limit.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



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