Ivan Kennedy nsIn thermodynamics, Ivan R. Kennedy (c. 1940-) is an Australian agricultural and environmental chemist noted his 2001 theory that energy quantums are the integral cause of action or movement in all systems, albeit one presented in a near baseless type of unitless thermodynamics of his own invention.

In 2001, Kennedy, in his
Action in Ecosystems: Biothermodynamics for Sustainability, introduced his so-called theory of action thermodynamics, a type of unitless thermodynamics based on the logic that energy quantums are the integral cause of action or movement in all systems, molecular to biospheric, and that these movements must correlate with movements towards equilibriums as defined by the spontaneity criterion. [1]

Kennedy’s main interest currently is the study of action in ecosystems, as a fundamental thermodynamic theory that transcends disciplines, with strong implications for sustaining the earth's biosphere. [2]

In 2008, Kennedy gave the following updated view on his opinion of the relation between action and thermodynamics in the context of systems subjected to quantum energy or photon inputs: [3]

“Given the forceful tendency of internal energy to change the action of the system as a whole, there is a real sense in which an initial nonequilibrium state of higher free energy following absorption of a quantum of light is more chaotic and disordered than the more relaxed state of higher action and entropy toward which the system evolves.”

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Kennedy completed a BS in agriculture in 1962, a PhD in 1965, and a DSc in agriculture in 1992 all from the University of Western Australia. During Kennedy’s five-year agricultural science degree, he was heavily involved with physical chemistry and biochemistry, with a strong interest in physics; this may explain his current affinity and interest in the application of thermodynamics and action to biospheric system.

1. Kennedy, Ivan R. (2001). Action in Ecosystems: Biothermodynamics for Sustainability (ch. 4: Action Thermodynamics, pgs. 65-98). Research Studies Press.
2. Ivan R. Kennedy – Professor in Agriculture and Environmental Chemistry, University of Sidney.
3. Rose, M.T., Crossan, A.N. and Kennedy, I.R. (2008). “Sustaining Action and Optimising Entropy: Coupling Efficiency for Energy and the Sustainability of Global Ecosystems”. Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society, 28, 260-272.

Further reading
● Kennedy, Ivan R. (1983). “Action and entropy in a neurological disorder”, in Molecular Aspects of Neurological Disorders, P.L. Jeffrey and L. Austin, eds., pgs. 147-50, Academic Press, Sydney.
● Kennedy, Ivan R. (2000). “Action as a dynamic property of the genotype x environment interaction: Implications for biotechnology.” Acta Biotechnologica 20, 351-368.

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