The dynamic of Spain's population follows the maximum entropy principle
phys.org March 11, 2013, clipped:
A team of Spanish and Argentinean researchers have verified that the distribution of the inhabitants in each Spanish province evolves in accordance with the maximum entropy principle in the field of physics. Therefore, this evolution is predictable. The results have allowed authors to put forward a 'socio-thermodynamic' theory that applies the laws of thermodynamics to collective human behaviour.
"We have verified that given province characteristics, which we specify as a value named 'q', population distribution over time does not arise by chance but rather by a certain way that adjusts to the maximum entropy principle," as explained to SINC by Alberto Hernando, researcher of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne (Switzerland) and co-author of the study.
Along with other colleagues from the University of Granada, the Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (CSIC-University of the Balearic Islands) and the National University of La Plata in Argentina have employed these results to formulate a theory called 'socio-thermodynamics', which is similar to thermodynamics used to describe the equilibrium state of gases, solids and liquids. The maximum entropy principle is a formulation of the second thermodynamics principle that states that the entropy quantity of the universe tends to increase over time. In other words, a state with a certain order always leans towards a state with less order and the inverse process to this is impossible on a spontaneous level. According to the researchers, its application to human society can help us to understand how social order always tends to deteriorate if active attempts are not made to avoid such an occurrence. "This without a doubt gives rise to many speculations and interpretations but only one single investigation based on observations and objective data can give us a clear answer," concludes the researcher.
More information: A. Hernando, R. Hernando, A. Plastino, A. R. Plastino. "The workings of the maximum entropy principle in collective human behavior". Journal of the Royal Society Interface 10: 20120758, 2013. Doi:10.1098/rsif.2012.0758 Journal reference: Journal of the Royal Society Interface Provided by Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT)
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