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Experientia

, Volume 2, Issue 11, pp 451–453 | Cite as

Biologie et thermodynamique des phénomènes irréversibles

  • I. Prigogine
  • J. M. Wiame
Vorläufige Mitteilungen

Summary

The thermodynamic study of systems in which stationary (non equilibrium) states were possible, led one of us (I. P.) to a number of general conclusions. In the present paper these conclusions are summarized and briefly discussed from a biological standpoint. It appears that the evolution of such systems is towards states with the least production of entropy (per mass unit) compatible with the conditions imposed. In the case of living matter this corresponds approximately to states of minimum metabolism. During this evolution the entropy contained in the system may decrease whilst the heterogenity increases. But this increase in heterogenity can only take place when there is a decrease in the entropy production, that is an evolution of the metabolism. We are thus led to suggest a physicochemical interpretation of Lamarchism. Finally we call attention to the fact that the moderation principle ofLe Chatelier-Braun is not limited to equilibrium states.

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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1946

Authors and Affiliations

  • I. Prigogine
    • 1
  • J. M. Wiame
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté des Sciences, Université de BruxellesBelgium

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