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The mission of ergodynamics is the revelation of relations of general validity. "Thermodynamics deals with relationships between properties of systems at equilibrium and with differences in properties between various equilibrium states. It has nothing to do with time. Even so, it is one of the most powerful tools of physical chemistry" [1]. Ergodynamics is the theory of exergy changes (from the Greek word 'erg' which means work). Ergodynamics includes the fundamental aspects of thermodynamics ('heat') and the thermodynamics of irreversible processes (TIP; nonequilibrium thermodynamics), and thus links thermodynamics to kinetics. In its most general scope, ergodynamics is the science of energy transformations. Classical thermodynamics includes open systems, yet as a main focus it describes closed systems. This is reflected in a nomenclature that is not easily applicable to the more general case of open systems [2]. At present, IUPAC recommendations [3] fall short of providing adequate guidelines for describing energy transformations in open systems.

Reference: Gnaiger (1993) Pure Appl Chem

Special molecular mechanisms versus general macroscopic laws

According to Ilya Prigogine [4], the importance of the thermodynamics of irreversible processes (TIP) can be gauged from its unique ability to assign general validity of phenomenological laws and discriminate these from special microscopic assumptions on molecular interactions — 'comparable to the importance of thermodynamics of equilibria' [4]. For this grand mission and promise to be fulfilled, the fundamental assumptions on the linear laws of TIP — implying linear relations between the generalized flows and forces called the phenomenological relations [5] — must primarily be shown to be generally valid.
A critical isomorphic analysis provides the proof that the assumptions on the phenomenological relations are flawed by a confusion between isomorphic forces and pressures, rendering the variability of phenomenological coefficients L non-linearly dependent on the force under simple experimental conditions [6]. This shatters the foundation of the Onsager reciprocity relationships [5].
The basis of the thermodynamics of irreversible processes, therefore, must be re-built on an entirely different paradigm deduced from the dynamic behavior of ergodic systems, where fluxes are linear functions of isomorphic pressures but not isomorphic forces [6]. To emphasize this radical paradigm shift, it is warranted to replace the designation of non-equilibrium thermodynamics or TIP by the term ergodynamics. In the footsteps of the thermodynamics of irreversible processes, the mission of ergodynamics is the revelation of relations of general validity.


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»Bioblast links: Energy and exergy - >>>>>>> - Click on [Expand] or [Collapse] - >>>>>>>
  • Joule [J]; 1 J = 1 N·m = 1 V·C; 1 cal = 4.184 J
Fundamental relationships
» Energy
» Exergy
» Extensive quantity
» Force
» Pressure
» Intensive quantity
Forms of energy
» Internal-energy dU
» Enthalpy dH
» Heat deQ
» Bound energy dB
Forms of exergy
» Helmholtz energy dA
» Gibbs energy dG
» Work deW
» Dissipated energy diD


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Bioblast links: Force and membrane potential - >>>>>>> - Click on [Expand] or [Collapse] - >>>>>>>
Fundamental relationships
» Force
» Affinity
» Flux
» Advancement
» Advancement per volume
» Stoichiometric number
mt-Membrane potential and protonmotive force
» Protonmotive force
» Mitochondrial membrane potential
» Chemical potential
» Faraday constant
» Format
» Uncoupler
» O2k-Catalogue: O2k-TPP+ ISE-Module
» O2k-Manual: MiPNet15.03 O2k-MultiSensor-ISE
» TPP - O2k-Procedures: Tetraphenylphosphonium
» Specifications: MiPNet15.08 TPP electrode
» Poster
» Unspecific binding of TPP+
» TPP+ inhibitory effect
» O2k-Catalogue: O2k-FluoRespirometer
» O2k-Manual: MiPNet22.11 O2k-FluoRespirometer manual
» Safranin - O2k-Procedures: MiPNet20.13 Safranin mt-membranepotential / Safranin
» TMRM - O2k-Procedures: TMRM
» O2k-Publications: mt-Membrane potential
» O2k-Publications: Coupling efficiency;uncoupling


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  1. Alberty RA, Daniels F (1980) Physical chemistry. SI version. 5th ed, John Wiley & Sons, New York:692 pp. - »Bioblast link«
  2. Gnaiger E (1993) Nonequilibrium thermodynamics of energy transformations. Pure Appl Chem 65:1983-2002. - »Bioblast link«
  3. Cohen ER, Cvitas T, Frey JG, Holmström B, Kuchitsu K, Marquardt R, Mills I, Pavese F, Quack M, Stohner J, Strauss HL, Takami M, Thor HL (2008) Quantities, Units and Symbols in Physical Chemistry. IUPAC Green Book 3rd Edition, 2nd Printing, IUPAC & RSC Publishing, Cambridge. - »Bioblast link«
  4. Prigogine I (1967) Introduction to thermodynamics of irreversible processes. Interscience New York, 3rd ed:147pp. - »Bioblast link«
  5. Onsager L (1931) Reciprocal relations in irreversible processes. I. Phys Rev 37:405-26. - »Bioblast link«
  6. Gnaiger E (2020) Mitochondrial pathways and respiratory control. An introduction to OXPHOS analysis. 5th ed. Bioenerg Commun 2020.2:112 pp.

MitoPedia concepts: MiP concept, Ergodynamics 

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