Free energy of formation

Synthesis of human
Every element-based "thing" on surface of the earth, whether a baby or a boron atom, has a quantifiable free energy of formation, which is the Gibbs function measure of the energy and entropy changes that resulted during the formation or synthesis of the thing in question.
In science, free energy of formation, aka “Gibbs free energy of formation” or “standard Gibbs free energy of formation”, depending on context of discussion, refers to the measure of the Gibbs free energy changes that accrued during the formation of any element based thing, e.g. chemical substance (Lewis, 1914), "butane, snake, or spider" (Dolloff, 1975), mouse (Goldstein, 1993), or human (Thims, 2007). []

In 1914, Gilbert Lewis, in his “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen”, defined the standard free energy of formation as follows: [1]

“Values obtained for the increase in free energy, at 25°C, in the formation of a substance (at unit activity) form the elements in their standard reference states.”

In 1923, Lewis, in his Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances, expanded these free energy of chemical substances measurements into the form of tabulated values of free energies of formations, aka free energy tables. [2]

In 1946, Percy Bridgman, during the famous 1946 Harvard "what is life in terms of physics and chemistry?" debate, raised the following objection:

“How can we compute or even evaluate the entropy of a living being? In order to compute the entropy of a system, it is necessary to be able to create or to destroy it in a reversible way. We can think of no reversible process by which a living organism can be created or killed: both birth and death are irreversible processes. There is absolutely no way to define the change of entropy that takes place in an organism at the moment of death.”

In 1957, Keith Burton, in his "Free Energies of Formation from the Elements" table, published as an appendix to Hans Krebs and Hans Kornberg's Energy Transformations in Living Matter, listed the free energies of formation of about 100 biochemical species (chnopsological chemical species). [3]

In 1975, Norman Dolloff, in his Heat Death and the Phoenix: Entropy, Order, and the Future of Man, gave the following so-called “organism synthesis equation”, to quantify the synthesis of “any” organism, be it hydrogen, butane, snake, spider, or a human:

Dolloff organism formation equation

where Σni represents the “sum of simpler chemical species”. This, historically, is the first known coherent attempts, beyond the "entropy = disordering" / "evolution = ordering" confusion of lay science, at stating that animals, whether mice or men, have a Gibbs free energy of formation.
In 1993, Martin Goldstein, in his section “Entropy of a Mouse”, gave the following semi-cogent statement: [5]

“To apply thermodynamics to the problem of how life got started, we must ask what net energy and entropy changes would have been if simple chemical substances, present when the earth was young, were converted into living matter [as in the formation of a mouse] … to answer this question [for each process], we must determine the energies and entropies of everything in the initial state and final state.”

Rabbit formation
Image of a magician making a rabbit synthetically appear on a table via the power of Gibbs energy (Schroeder, 2000). [6]
In 2000, Daniel Schroeder, in his Thermal Physics, stated the following, which he captioned below the a diagram (shown adjacent) of a magician making a rabbit appear on a table via the powers of Gibbs energy: [6]

“To create a rabbit [or human] out of nothing and place it on the table, the magician need not summon up the entire enthalpy, H = U + PV. Some energy, equal to TS, can flow in spontaneously as heat; the magician must provide only the difference, G = H – TS, as work.”

In 2007, Libb Thims, in his Human Chemistry, outlined how the Lewis-based logic of calculating the free energies of formations of chemical species based on the energies and entropies of the elements existing on the earth, in their standard states, can be extrapolated up and applied to the calculation of the free energies of formation of humans. [7]

1. Lewis, Gilbert and Randall, Merle. (1914). “The Free Energy of Oxygen, Hydrogen, and the Oxides of Hydrogen”, Journal of American Chemical Society, 35:1964.
2. Lewis, Gilbert N. and Randall, Merle. (1923). Thermodynamics and the Free Energy of Chemical Substances (pg. 596). McGraw-Hill Book Co., Inc.
3. Krebs, H.A. and Kornberg, H.L. (1957). Energy Transformations in Living Matter (with an Appendix by K. Burton with 21 figures). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
4. Dolloff, Norman H. (1975). Heat Death and the Phoenix: Entropy, Order, and the Future of Man (figure 1.3, pg. 19; free energy, 27+ pgs; Gibbs, 9+ pgs; god; 3+ pgs; social, 9+ pgs). Exposition Press.
5. Goldstein, Martin and Goldstein, Inge F. (1993). The Refrigerator and the Universe: Understanding the Laws of Energy (section: Entropy of a mouse, pgs. 297-99). Harvard University Press.
6. Schroeder, Daniel V. (2000). An Introduction to Thermal Physics (magician diagram, pg. 150; one rabbit, two rabbit diagram, pg. 163). Addison Wesley Longman.
7. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two) (§11: "Affinity and Free Energy", §§: Human affinity - Gibbs free energy - tables, pgs. 464-68). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.

External links
‚óŹ Standard Gibbs energy of formation – Wikipedia.

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