James Reiss

photo neededIn economic thermodynamics, James Allan Reiss (c.1937-) is an Australian organic chemist and commerce theorist noted for his 1994 chapter “Comparative Thermodynamics in Chemistry and Economics”, in which he attempts to redefine economic processes in the language of physical chemistry and thermodynamics. [1]

Economic-thermodynamic parameters
Of interest, citing the comparative 1989 work of Hungarian physicist Bela Lukacs, Reiss gives a table of economic parameters equated to thermodynamic parameters, as shown below, stating that there has been some debate as to the exact matching of the chemical parameters with those of economics: [2]

This seems to be one of the first printed tables of such form. Most of these speculative assignments, however, seem to be incorrect, such as enthalpy being equated to work, or entropy equaling negentropy. The only assignment here that may have merit to it could possibly be Gibbs free energy change ΔG being equated to "value", being that what is favored evolutionary wise, tends to be something that has a future to it, and Gibbs free energy change is what predicts the future or favorability of chemical reactions or processes.
Reiss economic-thermodynamic parameters (1994)
Reiss' 1994 human thermodynamics variables table; one of the first of its kind, namely to discuss a dominant number of the main quantities of chemical thermodynamics in human societal system terms. [1]

In his table, Reiss equates raw materials to chemicals (correctly: raw materials are catalysts and substrate factors, whereas people are the reactive chemicals); value to Gibbs free energy change ΔG (correctly: this should be the functional work output of the factory); work and labor energy to enthalpy change ΔH (correctly: enthalpy is the raw heat released or absorbed from the activation of the human chemical bonds plus the work related to pressure-volume work changes inside the economy, although there is some connection between work and enthalpy); order or negentropy to entropy (correctly: the magnitude of entropy |S| is a measure of disorder, although there is more to the issue); temperature to temperature (correctly: there are other issues, e.g. economic temperature, sexual temperature, physical attractiveness temperatures, intellectual temperatures, etc.); process energy barriers to activation energy Ea (correctly: the activation energy most germane to an economic system is the barrier to successful sexual reproduction, faced by each individual); concentration of industry to free energy coupling of reactions and cells (correctly: sector formations is a result of like-attracts-like industry chemical bonding energy lowering effects); technology to catalysis (correctly: Reiss may be correct in this assignment, in that he defines tools, such as hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches to be ‘catalysts’ designed to increase the efficiency of human processes); and money to stored energy as in fuel (correctly: money can act in the form of stored chemical potential, but more accurately money is defined as a secondary field particle acting to transmit the force of human chemical reaction).

Reiss completed his PhD, with a 1967 dissertation “Photochemical Products from Aromatic Azo Compounds”, at the University of Adelaide, Australia. [3] Reiss was a colleague of John Christie at La Trobe University, Melbourne Australia, lecturing in chemistry; but at some point had a change of career, began studying accounting, then transferred to become a lecturer in the accounting department for several years. He retired in the 1990s.

1. Reiss, James A. (1994). “Comparative Thermodynamics in Chemistry and Economics”, in: Economics and Thermodynamics: New Perspectives on Economic Analysis (ch. 5, pgs. 47-72) (editors: Peter Burley and John Foster). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
2. Lukacs, Bela. (1989). “Once More about Economic Entropy”, Acta Oeconomica, 41:1-2, pgs. 181-92.
3. Reiss, James Allan. (1967). “Photochemical Products from Aromatic Azo Compounds”, at the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Further reading
‚óŹ Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume One), (James Reiss, pgs. 93, 138). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.

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