The Fourth Law of Thermodynamics: The Law of Maximum Entropy Production (LMEP)

Mayo Martínez-Kahn, León Martínez-Castilla
2010 Ecological psychology  
More than 20 years ago, Swenson (1988) proposed and elaborated the Law of Maximum Entropy Production (LMEP) as the missing piece of physical or universal law that would account for the ubiquitous and opportunistic transformation from disordered, or less ordered, to more highly ordered states. Given Boltzmann's (1974) interpretation, the Second Law of Thermodynamics has generally been interpreted as a "law of disorder." Schr dinger (1945) and Bertalanffy (1952) had shown, however, that the
more » ... ver, that the Second Law, viewed from the classical perspective of Clausius (1865) and Thomson (1852) , was not anathema to order. Ordered flow, including life, was permissible as long as it produced enough entropy to compensate for its own internal entropy reduction. The central problem remained, however: If the spontaneous production of order was "infinitely improbable," as Boltzmann had surmised, then why were ordered systems such a fundamental and characteristic property of the visible world? LMEP provided the answer: Order production is inexorable because order produces entropy faster than disorder. In Swenson (1989d) , LMEP was given expression as a precise law that could be demonstrated in falsifiable, experimental, physical terms. In Swenson and Turvey (1991) , LMEP was tied explicitly to the progressive emergence of living things with their perception-action capabilities.
doi:10.1080/10407410903493160 fatcat:6uxrriamhzcqzoijioy2rufsiu