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Laws of Thermodynamics

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Definition: The laws of thermodynamics are important unifying principles of biology. These principles govern the chemical processes (metabolism) in all biological organisms.

The First Law of Thermodynamics, also know as the law of conservation of energy, states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It may change from one form to another, but the energy in a closed system remains constant.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics states that when energy is transferred, there will be less energy available at the end of the transfer process than at the beginning. Due to entropy, which is the measure of disorder in a closed system, all of the available energy will not be useful to the organism. Entropy increases as energy is transferred.

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