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Thermodynamics of complexity
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Plant Physiology. Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC).
2003 (English)In: Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, ISSN 0378-4371, E-ISSN 1873-2119, Vol. 320, 318-328 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The definition of complexity, simultaneously introduced by Kolmogorov and Chaitin, has given a numerical measure to what was previously defined only at an intuitive level. This measure, useful as it is, becomes hard to utilise when one deals with the complexity of most real systems, and biological objects in particular. We try to overcome this difficulty by discussing a possible thermodynamic definition of complexity based on energy balance. The Kolmogorov-Chaitin definition of complexity thus relates to our thermodynamic definition in a similar way as the probabilistic definition of entropy relates to the thermodynamic one. In the framework of this intuitive treatment it is discussed how the complexity of a biological system may depend on the variability of the environmental conditions. A specific illustration of this approach is given using some numerical modeling examples. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 320, 318-328 p.
Keyword [en]
complexity, thermodynamics, evolution
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-44771ISI: 000181375800027OAI: diva2:423085
Available from: 2011-06-14 Created: 2011-06-09 Last updated: 2011-06-14

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Oquist, Gunnar
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Department of Plant PhysiologyUmeå Plant Science Centre (UPSC)
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