Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Thermostatics vs. Electrodynamics

Version 1 : Received: 15 September 2020 / Approved: 16 September 2020 / Online: 16 September 2020 (05:16:36 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 18 September 2020 / Approved: 19 September 2020 / Online: 19 September 2020 (11:18:01 CEST)

How to cite: Eisenberg, R.S. Thermostatics vs. Electrodynamics. Preprints 2020, 2020090349. Eisenberg, R.S. Thermostatics vs. Electrodynamics. Preprints 2020, 2020090349.


Thermodynamics has been the foundation of many models of biological and technological systems. But thermodynamics is static and is misnamed. A more suitable name is thermostatics. Thermostatics does not include time as a variable and so has no velocity, flow or friction. Indeed, as usually formulated, thermostatics does not include boundary conditions. Devices require boundary conditions to define their input and output. They usually involve flow and friction. Thermostatics is an unsuitable foundation for understanding technological and biological devices. A time dependent generalization of thermostatics that might be called thermal dynamics is being developed by Chun Liu and collaborators to avoid these limitations. Electrodynamics is not restricted like thermostatics, but in its classical formulation involves drastic assumptions about polarization and an over-approximated dielectric constant. Once the Maxwell equations are rewritten without a dielectric constant, they are universal and exact. Conservation of total current, including displacement current, is a restatement of the Maxwell equations that leads to dramatic simplifications in the understanding of one dimensional systems, particularly those without branches, like the ion channel proteins of biological membranes and the two terminal devices of electronic systems. The Brownian fluctuations of concentrations and fluxes of ions become the spatially independent total current, because the displacement current acts as an unavoidable low pass filter, a consequence of the Maxwell equations for any material polarization. Electrodynamics and thermal dynamics together form a suitable foundation for models of technological and biological systems.


thermodynamics; electrodynamics; thermal dynamics; Maxwell equations; devices; ion channels; dielectric constant; polarization.


Biology and Life Sciences, Anatomy and Physiology

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