Amazing Light pp 391-400 | Cite as

The Physics of Nerve Excitation

  • Harold Lecar


As a graduate student, when I worked on molecular-beam masers, I was struck by how the maser, a state-selection device, resembled the usual picture of the Maxwell Demon. An electrostatic focuser spatially separated molecules in different energy states to direct the higher energy members of a random mixture into a resonant cavity wherein they constituted a negative temperature medium. This Demon is, of course, not paradoxical. It does not violate the second law of thermodynamics because work is done by the focusing electrode’s field at the expense of entropy increase of some power supply.


Travel Wave Solution Nerve Axon Excitable Membrane Submarine Cable Nerve Excitation 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

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  • Harold Lecar

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