Comparative Biochemistry: a Comprehensive Treatise by marcel florkin

By marcel florkin

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5. C. Oppenheimer, "Ferments and Their Actions," p. 81. Griffin, London, 1901. (Translated by C. A. ) 6. M. Dixon and E. C. Webb, "Enzymes," p. 621. Academic Press, New York, 1958. 7. A. J. Kluyver and C. B. " Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1956. CHAPTER 2 Thermodynamics of Living Systems HENRY EYRING Department of Chemistry, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah RICHARD P. B O Y C E * a n d J O H N D . SpiKEsf Department of Experimental Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah I.

In an attempt to provide a closer ap­ proach, a well-known field termed thermodynamics of irreversible proc­ esses has been developed. This branch of thermodynamics owes much to Onsager's attempts to treat irreversible processes on a microscopic level analogous to classical theory. In a later section we shall consider this field in more detail. G. T H E FIRST LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS: CONSERVATION OF ENERGY The sum of mass and energy in any kind of change is always a con­ stant. This is the First Law of Thermodynamics.

We are now prepared to make a precise statement of the Second Law in the most general terms: "Every system, left to itself, will, on the average, change toward a condition of maximum probability" (2). All real processes are accompanied by an increase in entropy. The extent of increase depends upon the energy and volume of the system. This can be seen most simply from the following argument: the change in entropy for a process is defined as dS Ϊ dQ/T (39) where the inequality sign refers to a real process.

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