The Cell as an Energetic System

  • Hans Mohr
  • Peter Schopfer
Chapter

Abstract

All living processes are linked to changes in energy. Therefore, energetic considerations are of prime importance at almost all levels of physiology. Energy, i.e. the ability to do work, appears in many forms in the inorganic world, e.g. as mechanical energy, light energy, electrical energy or heat. Within the discipline of physics, the ways in which the different forms of energy are transformed into each other is described by the laws of thermodynamics. It is possible, in principle, to apply these laws and the terms used for their description, for example enthalpy, free energy, entropy and chemical potential, to living systems as well. It is justifiable to assume that living and non-living systems differ only in the degree of their complexity, and therefore that the laws of physics are also laws of biology, at least potentially. However, this does not mean that physical laws are sufficient to describe biological systems fully.

Keywords

Permeability Glycerol Manifold Enthalpy Rubber 

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Mohr
    • 1
  • Peter Schopfer
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für BotanikBiologisches Institut II der UniversitätFreiburgGermany

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