Thermodynamics of Life

Thermodynamics (I hear groaning!) has haunted me from the day I started to study it. I know, gross, but I promise, just keep reading. Technically it is the study of the effects of work, heat, and energy on a system. The difference between one system and the next, why does it matter, why do I need to know it, what the heck are all these symbols?!

But then, I started to translate it. My translation, however, did not require knowing a second language. Instead, it required a second way of thinking. I started to translate my thermodynamics into life. Because, come on, if we can think about 1 mole (6.022 x 10^23 atoms) we can think about a system of a couple people. And by a couple I mean the population of the world: 7 billion people (7 x 10^9 people). The world’s population is much smaller than 1 mole, muchhhhhhh smaller.

So here it is.

We live in a world (system) and we are encountering many objects, things, hurdles, everyday in our lives (surroundings). When we exert feelings on others, we increase our outreach (our volume). When the volume of our system reaches the volume of our surroundings were are at peace (equilibrium).

At equilibrium, we, as people, are at reign to balance forces, ask questions, give responses. We are allowed to lessen the heat (decrease the temperature, T) while simultaneously, decreasing our judgement of others (decreasing pressure, P) without any detrimental effects. We can live in this state because everything is balanced, true, real. This state is called IDEAL, just like those ideal gas molecules, we can exist in a system equal to PV=nRT. Right?


Now regardless of the math and science associated with my previous words, an ideal system is unrealistic, unnatural, and does not occur. So therefore, we have to think of these problems as more than one variable, maybe 2 or 3 or maybe even 4! YIKES.

But (don’t stop here!) this is where the fun begins. A bunch of terms are brought to the table, but honestly lets just mention one. The term, chaos, familiar to us, called entropy to me, a variable which is always increasing in our world. Have you ever noticed if you don’t clean your room for a week, that it gets messy? The world is constantly heading towards disorganization and natural messiness. This idea brings me to a very important conclusion. If our world is constantly requiring work to keep it orderly, then so are we. No system perfect, no human perfect, as each of us must work everyday to not only keep ourselves in order, but bring us closer to equilibrium. Equilibrium (remember, where we are at 100% peace, the Utopia, the heaven) can be reached if we are aware, aware of what? AWARE OF OUR SURROUNDINGS.

All connected…. it is all connected…..

The more you know about your surroundings (the people around you, the places you visit) the closer you will come to reaching equilibrium, because you will understand that the chaos introduced to you in your daily life is there for a reason. It is there to balance the complex equations. It is there because, naturally as a universe, we are chaotic. It is there because it is supposed to be there.

Today, and everyday, I hope that your PV’s equal your nRT’s and you are becoming closer to reaching your equilibrium. As for me… my equations are still quite complex, and that is okay. Wherever your thermodynamics lead you, I hope they lead you to happiness.

-Happiness in Handfulls

If you are interested further,
PV=nRT    <—Ideal Gas Law
*P=Pressure, V=Volume, n=Number of Moles, R=Gas Constant, T=Temperature


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