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Transdisciplinarity Enabled

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Fig. 1 | Earth Perspectives

Fig. 1

From: Inventive processes in nature: from information origin in chemical evolution to technological exhaustion

Fig. 1

The metastable state as a perishable chemical information repository. The metastable state of elevated potential energy remains that way, at least for a while, and requires some perturbation for the return to a low, stable state. An external energy push is needed for potential energy to return to an elevated metastable state. In the case of ordinary matter, information can only be ‘written’ in a sequence of quantum energy jolts, pushing matter into reconfigured metastable states. The matter of ordinary atoms is an elementary medium in which chemically-encoded information can be stored in metastable bonds. Gibbs free energy, G, is the chemical potential with primary usefulness in recognising the chemical (meta)stability points and the spontaneous flow of the chemical reactions. The standard Gibbs potential is defined for a standardised state of chemical elements, which is typically well above the lowest energy state when such elements react in an environmental mixture. Exergy, E, essentially defined as the Gibbs potential (ΔE = ΔG), has the advantage of having its state of E = 0 defined precisely at equilibrium with the environment. Matter free of any chemically encoded information at a given temperature is in a state of maximum entropy. The lowest potential energy state is stable and in total equilibrium with the environment. Therefore, ‘writing’ is the delivery of energy in a manner such that after the writing is completed, the metastable chemicals of the writing are identified, and local entropy decreases as a consequence of the configuration of chemical ordering. The exergy of a system represents its chemical (physical) information state

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