Foundations of Physics 37 (12):1774-1797 (2007)

Two categories of life are currently recognized—chemosynthetic and photosynthetic—indicating their principal free energy resource as either chemicals or electromagnetic radiation. Building on recent developments in thermodynamics, we posit a third category of life—thermosynthetic life (TL)—which relies on environmental heat rather than traditional free energy sources. Since thermal energy is more abundant than chemicals or light in many settings, thermosynthesis offers compelling evolutionary possibilities for new life forms. Based on variants of standard cellular machinery, a physical model is proposed for the conversion of thermal energy into biochemical work. Conditions favorable to thermosynthetic life and prospects for its discovery are assessed. Terrestrially, deep-subsurface unicellular anaerobic superthermophiles are deduced to be likely TL candidates
Keywords Second law of thermodynamics  Entropy  Extremophiles  Thermophiles  Astrobiology  Exobiology
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DOI 10.1007/s10701-007-9168-y
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References found in this work BETA

Bluff Your Way in the Second Law of Thermodynamics.Jos Uffink - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 32 (3):305-394.
A Solid-State Maxwell Demon.D. P. Sheehan, A. R. Putnam & J. H. Wright - 2002 - Foundations of Physics 32 (10):1557-1595.
Maxwell's Demon and Detailed Balancing.L. G. M. Gordon - 1983 - Foundations of Physics 13 (10):989-997.

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Energy, Entropy and the Environment.D. P. Sheehan - 2010 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 22 (4).

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