Illustration of Gibbs free energy

1873 Gibbs free energy

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Josiah Willard Gibbs thermodynamics Illustration of Gibbs free energy

Gibbs free energy

A thermodynamic system, that is, a set of things that can exchange heat and work with its surroundings, can have a thermodynamic potential, that is, Gibbs free energy, energy, after irreversable losses, ready and able to do mechanical work.

Endergonic vs. exergonic

Organisms are endergonic, requiring energy; though they seem to be exergonic, releasing energy. The trick is to focus on the eddy in which the water of the river flows upstream. Each teaspoon of soil hosts millions of bacteria. You would think the flow of life were irreversable.

No limit

There is a give to how much you may give, and, sad to say, you get only one lifetime. But there is no limit to how many loves you may love, or how much you may love them.

I wind my wall clock and it runs for eight days; I take satisfaction in that. The most intense joys of life for me were experiencing great energies—the rushing of a train, cloud and darting sunlight, violent waves on a shore.

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