Thermodynamics and
Ethics
What is thermodynamics ?
Science of transformation of energy and
its interaction with matter
Since most phenomena are acco...
The Laws of Thermodynamics
In all natural processes :
The First Law : Energy is Conserved
The Second Law : Quality of Ener...
Grades of Energy……....I

Ordered Energy :
fully convertible ,
Invariant in
Quality
<high grade>
Grades of Energy……….II
Disordered Energy : Thermal Energy=>Not fully
convertible ; Quality not invariant, dependent on
Env...
Roegen’s Extension of the 2nd
Law of Thermodynamics
Like energy matter is also not destroyed , but is
continually dissipat...
Imperatives of The “Second”
Law
The Extended Second Law : All natural
processes involve exergy/material
dissipation
What g...
The Concept of Progress
What is progress ?….. More or less consumption ?
Economist belief : M/C + Labour create value is n...
Sustainable Development
Reduce wasteful practices => Elect. Geysers ,
Frozen foods, Mechanized agriculture, Throw
away cul...
Sustainable Development
Limits to Growth : Finite stock of minerals/energy and
finite flow of solar energy can not sustain...
Thermodynamics of Food Chain
Whenever a living being consumes food
80-90% is wasted as heat to the
environment
Yearly food...
Implications of Internalising
The Second Law
Minimizing Consumption …….How?
Re-look at the need satisfied by the
product &...
Implications of Internalising
The Second Law
Product Design : Modern Throw away
culture vs Old “Conserver” culture =>
Desi...
Philosophic Implications of
Second Law
Give importance to Quality not merely to quantity
food, friends, Time, Life
Exergy ...
Second Law and Time-table Planning
Mental
alertness
or
exergy

Variation of mental
Alertness with time
Wasted exergy

Vari...
Second Law &
Performance appraisal
Performance appraisal
Quantity and Quality
Quality & Job profile

Evaluating People wit...
Concluding Remarks
Many ethical insights emerge from
Thermodynamics : Life style, Reducing
waste , the design of various p...
End of Lecture
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Thermodynamics & ethics

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Thermodynamics & ethics

  1. 1. Thermodynamics and Ethics
  2. 2. What is thermodynamics ? Science of transformation of energy and its interaction with matter Since most phenomena are accompanied by energy transformations and interaction with matter, thermodynamics should encompass all sciences and engineering ……….In a broad sense all that we human beings do in life also involves energy transfer
  3. 3. The Laws of Thermodynamics In all natural processes : The First Law : Energy is Conserved The Second Law : Quality of Energy is not conserved => Some amount of energy becomes unavailable for future use Quality of Energy : Low Grade and High Grade Energies
  4. 4. Grades of Energy……....I Ordered Energy : fully convertible , Invariant in Quality <high grade>
  5. 5. Grades of Energy……….II Disordered Energy : Thermal Energy=>Not fully convertible ; Quality not invariant, dependent on Environmental parameters <low grade> Quality Standard : EXERGY( ~availability): max useful work obtainable from a given form of energy The Second Law : All natural processes involve exergy destruction N.Georgescu Roegen : Matter is also continually being dissipated
  6. 6. Roegen’s Extension of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics Like energy matter is also not destroyed , but is continually dissipated: loose metal (matter) molecules are no longer in a concentrated form , they get dispersed in the soil and can’t perform useful work like the original chunk of metal (matter). You can never recycle 100 % => recycling m/c would loose matter and gobble energy. “Dissipation” is a more serious problem with matter-- Earth receives useful energy from Sun , but no useful matter
  7. 7. Imperatives of The “Second” Law The Extended Second Law : All natural processes involve exergy/material dissipation What governs the rate of dissipation ? LIFE STYLE Consumer Society or a Conserver Society
  8. 8. The Concept of Progress What is progress ?….. More or less consumption ? Economist belief : M/C + Labour create value is not tenable : They can only transfer the existing available energy/matter supply from a usable state to unusable state providing some utility along the way. Need for redefinition of the concept of productivity : Exergy/matter dissipated per unit output rather than production per unit time “ haste makes waste”
  9. 9. Sustainable Development Reduce wasteful practices => Elect. Geysers , Frozen foods, Mechanized agriculture, Throw away culture No industrial activity can be free from thermal pollution…...finitude of accessible space limits the extent of waste that the planet can handle. ⌫ Waste disposal too costs energy Analyze new technologies for sustainability on the basis of Net Energy Analysis available vs accessible energy (matter) deep mining; extra terrestrial energy sources
  10. 10. Sustainable Development Limits to Growth : Finite stock of minerals/energy and finite flow of solar energy can not sustain limitless growth !….…shift to sustainable consumption NO Poverty NO Opulence Society Energy-material consumption in consonance with natural production rate of the ecosystem=> Increase Use of Renewable resources ☺ The new Industrialization of 21st Century should be based on bio-mass & solar energy
  11. 11. Thermodynamics of Food Chain Whenever a living being consumes food 80-90% is wasted as heat to the environment Yearly food requirement 1 1 1 1 Man needs 300 Trout needs 300 Frog needs 300 Grass hopper needs Trout Frogs Grasshoppers 40 gm grass To support 1 Man on trout earth loses 1000 Tons of grass
  12. 12. Implications of Internalising The Second Law Minimizing Consumption …….How? Re-look at the need satisfied by the product & find a better alternative…e.g. AUTOMOBILE Pragmatist approach : How to redesign it using 2nd Law to get more work ? Deeper perspective: What purpose does it serve? Can it be served by some alternative means? Does it enhance, well being, culture, health ?
  13. 13. Implications of Internalising The Second Law Product Design : Modern Throw away culture vs Old “Conserver” culture => Design products to be repairable and durable. Long term vision of Society : Radical deurbanization , most people living in villages on organic farming and relying on bio-mass for material and energy needs.
  14. 14. Philosophic Implications of Second Law Give importance to Quality not merely to quantity food, friends, Time, Life Exergy of a person => Physical + Intellectual need to use both for “full” & satisfying life happiness~ 1- exergy dissipated/ exergy available Intellectual exergy => f (alertness) alertness is high after good rest /meditation and falls as person gets tired Matching available alertness to required alertness ensures optimal performance
  15. 15. Second Law and Time-table Planning Mental alertness or exergy Variation of mental Alertness with time Wasted exergy Variation of mental Alertness with time Mental alertness or exergy Wasted exergy Alertness required for Alertness lectures required for “practicals” 0 2 Alertness required for “practicals” 4 0 Time (h) (a) Lectures first Alertness required for lectures 2 4 Time (h) (b) “Practicals” first
  16. 16. Second Law & Performance appraisal Performance appraisal Quantity and Quality Quality & Job profile Evaluating People with dissimilar backgrounds : a) Achievements relative to the input (~Ist law approach) b) Achievements relative to the best possible under the circumstances (~ 2nd Law approach)
  17. 17. Concluding Remarks Many ethical insights emerge from Thermodynamics : Life style, Reducing waste , the design of various products etc. It provides a scientific basis of sustainable development and choice of technologies. The Second Law has profound philosophic implications--- provides a comprehensive definition of “quality”
  18. 18. End of Lecture

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