Which Way Is That System Going? The Gibbs Free Energy

  • Peter R. Bergethon


Thermodynamics is the accounting process for keeping track of the ebbs and flows of energy, matter, and order in a system. Life depends on energy and is characterized by change and order. We use thermodynamic measures extensively in the study of biological systems for these reasons. Biological energy resource management includes defining energy: sources, acquisition, transformation, storage, and distribution. Because energy and biology are so closely related to energy and thermodynamics, we will use the example of biological energy management to consolidate our discussions of thermodynamics.


Free Energy Gibbs Free Energy Electron Transport Chain Free Energy Change Proton Gradient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading


  1. Frant M. S. (1997) Where Did Ion Selective Electrodes Come From? The Story of Their Development and Commercialization. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 159–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Light T. S. (1997) Industrial Use and Applications of Ion Selective Electrodes. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 171–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ruzicka J. (1997) The Seventies: Golden Age for Ion Selective Electrodes. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 167–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Schultz J. S. (1991) Biosensors. Scientific American, 265 (2): 64–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Young C. C. (1997) Evolution of Blood Chemistry Analysers Based on Ion Selective Electrodes. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 177–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Biological Energy Transduction

  1. Brudvig G. W., Beck W. F. and de Paula J. C. (1989) Mechanism of Photosynthetic Water Oxidation. Ann. Rev. Biophys. Biophys. Chem., 18: 25–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cramer W. A. and Knaff D. B. (1991) Energy Transduction in Biological Membranes. A Textbook of Bioenergetics. Springer-Verlag, New York.Google Scholar
  3. de Silva A. P., Gunnlaugsson T., and McCoy C. P. (1997) Photoionic Supermolecules: Mobilizing the Charge and Light Brigades. J. Chem. Ed., 74: 53–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Scherer S. (1990) Do Photosynthetic and Respiratory Electron Transport Chains Share Redox Proteins? TIBS, 15: 458–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Youvan D. C. and Marrs B. L. (1987) Molecular Mechanisms of Photosynthesis. Scientific American, 256 (6): 42–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Coupled Reactions

  1. Spencer J. N. (1992) Competitive and Coupled Reactions. J. Chem. Ed., 69: 281–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Wink D. (1992) The Conversion of Chemical Energy, Biochemical Examples. J. Chem. Ed., 69: 264–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biochemical Examples. (1992) The Conversion of Chemical Energy, Technological Examples. J. Chem. Ed., 69: 108–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter R. Bergethon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations