Preprint Article Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Contextual Foundation for Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Evolution

Version 1 : Received: 19 July 2020 / Approved: 20 July 2020 / Online: 20 July 2020 (11:35:07 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 17 August 2020 / Approved: 20 August 2020 / Online: 20 August 2020 (09:18:59 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 1 December 2020 / Approved: 2 December 2020 / Online: 2 December 2020 (11:02:52 CET)
Version 4 : Received: 17 February 2021 / Approved: 18 February 2021 / Online: 18 February 2021 (10:33:37 CET)
Version 5 : Received: 6 March 2021 / Approved: 8 March 2021 / Online: 8 March 2021 (13:48:36 CET)
Version 6 : Received: 19 June 2021 / Approved: 2 July 2021 / Online: 2 July 2021 (14:26:03 CEST)

How to cite: Crecraft, H. A Contextual Foundation for Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Evolution. Preprints 2020, 2020070469. Crecraft, H. A Contextual Foundation for Mechanics, Thermodynamics, and Evolution. Preprints 2020, 2020070469.


The prevailing interpretations of physics are based on deeply entrenched assumptions, rooted in classical mechanics. Logical implications include: the denial of entropy and irreversible change as fundamental properties of state; the inability to explain random quantum measurements and nonlocality without unjustifiable assumptions and untestable metaphysical implications; and the inability to explain or even define the evolution of complexity. The dissipative conceptual model (DCM) is based on empirically justified assumptions. It generalizes mechanics’ definition of state by acknowledging the contextual relationship between a physical system and its positive-temperature ambient background, and it defines the DCM entropy as a fundamental contextual property of physical states. The irreversible production of entropy establishes the thermodynamic arrow of time and a system’s process of dissipation as fundamental. The DCM defines a system’s utilization by the measurable rate of internal work on its components and as an objective measure of stability for a dissipative process. The spontaneous transition of dissipative processes to higher utilization and stability defines two evolutionary paths. The evolution of life proceeded by both competition for resources and cooperation to evolve and sustain higher functional complexity. The DCM accommodates classical and quantum mechanics and thermodynamics as idealized non-contextual special cases.


Physical Foundations; Quantum mechanics; Nonlocality; Time; Entropy; Thermodynamics; Evolution


Physical Sciences, Quantum Science and Technology

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 20 August 2020
Commenter: Harrison Crecraft
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Changes in response to peer review comments. Includes discussion of present work in camparision with Ilya Prigogine's work to extend mechanics to accommodate fundamental irreversibility. Figure 1 revised to show state's independence of observer. Figure 2 and section 2.4 revised to clarify entropy and refinement. Equation 7 corrected to include ambient temperature as an independent argument.
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