Wayne Saslow

Wayne Saslow nsIn hmolscience, Wayne M. Saslow (c.1941-) is an American physicist noted, in economic thermodynamics, for his 1999 human thermodynamics variable table, wherein he equates wealth, in a human free energy theory sense, to the negative of Helmholtz free energy.

In 1999, Saslow, in his “An Economic Analogy to Thermodynamics”, argued that the state of an economic system, being a physical system, must be quantified by a temperature and conjugate variable pair entropy. He also formulates an analogy version of free energy, Maxwell relations, and a Gibbs-Duhem relationship. The following is Saslow's human thermodynamics variable table: [1]

Saslow economic-thermodynamic analogies table

Here he equates wealth W to negative Helmholtz free energy (-F), utility U to negative energy (-E), surplus Ψ to entropic energy (TS), price p to chemical potential, and number of goods n to number of chemical species crossing the boundary N.

American economist Duncan Foley was the one who suggesting to Saslow that he develop an analogy between economics and thermodynamics. Saslow's work has been referenced by Victor Maslov. [2]

Saslow's article formed the basis of Canadians physicists Hans Kreuzer and Isaac Tamblyn's 2010 Thermodynamics chapter section on economics thermodynamics. [3]

Saslow completed his BA at the University of Pennsylvania, his MS at the University of California at Berkeley, and his PhD at the University of California at Irvine. He was a research associate at the University of Pittsburgh. He became a professor at Texas A&M University in 1971, where he currently resides.

1. Saslow, Wayne M. (1999). “An Economic Analogy to Thermodynamics”, Am. J. Phys. 67(12): 1239-47.
2. Maslov, Viktor P. (2010). “Tropical Mathematics and the Financial Catastrophe of the 17th Century: Thermoeconomics of Russia in the early 20th Century.” Russian Journal of Mathematical Physics, 17(1): 126-40.
3. Kreuzer, H.J. and Tamblyn, Isaac. (2010). Thermodynamics (§8.6: Thermodynamics in Economics, pgs. 162-66). World Scientific.

External links
‚óŹ Wayne Saslow (faculty) – Texas A&M University.

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