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Energy-Driven Competitive Mechanism of Entropy Change in a Multi-Molecular System
1  Virtek Research Boxborough, MA, USA

Abstract: The origin of life and its evolving dynamics is tightly related to molecular dynamics of initially 'small' molecules in the presence of energy source. Observationally, life is a non-stop growth of living matter with steady increase of its complexity. Sometimes this dynamics is related to the entropy change. The point of this note is to discuss the limits of the entropy-based analysis of life dynamics, including the limits of statistical approach to molecular dynamics in an energy-rich multi-component system. The statistical context introduces many 'particles' and their degrees of freedom; in an equilibrium, energy gets distributed equally over the degrees of freedom(DoF) and the entropy is maximal.  Meanwhile, the real 'particles' have an internal structure with discrete energy levels and related states. So, the excitation of molecules and their reactivities which drive the attachments/growth need to be taken into account to see how the growth increases the number of DoF, an option used to be beyond the statistical context.  So, we use a more precise quantum approach. Our analysis indicates to the preferential selection of the larger (more complex) particles by sampling the environment to find and attach a matched partner.  The larger particles better reuse (and not to lose) the captured energy.  The smaller ones lose energy and get used as building components.  The net result is an energy-driven non-stop competitive growth of increasingly complex particles by selective molecular sampling - until the energy source and the building components are available.  This is a 'side effect' of the primary process of competitive redistribution of incoming energy into increasingly larger number of DoF. The energy loss due to dissipation gets minimal and the energy reuse gets maximal. The growth increases the number of DoF making it easier for energy to spread. Statistically, this may be viewed as the overall increase of entropy. However, due to permanency of energy gradients and unlimited availability of 'materials', the total equipartition may take a 'long' time - 4.5 Byr and still going... Meanwhile, for a separate species and in an 'in-between' time, the energy gradient is still in the process of spreading and steadily away from equilibrium, so the entropy gets steadily decreased.
Keywords: Energy gradient; entropy decrease; competitive selection; connectivity; energy-driven growth