In hmolscience, energy flow diagram is general visual model showing how heat or energy flows through, is stored in, or transforms in a system

The following is chronological timeline of the development of food chain diagrams turned energy flow diagrams:

Timeline markerEmpedocles | 450BCTimeline markerCowper | 1782Timeline markerGoethe | 1809Timeline markerLotka | 1922Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerLotka | 1925Timeline markerElton | 1926Timeline markerHuxley | 1940Timeline markerCamus | 1942Timeline markerOdum | 1976Timeline markerOdum | 1976Timeline markerOdum | 1976Timeline markerOdum | 1976Timeline markerColinvaux | 1979Timeline markerBeg | 1987Timeline markerStephan | 1995Timeline markerYakovenko | 2000
Hwang | 2001Timeline markerThims | 2003Timeline markerThims | 2007Timeline markerWallace | 2009Timeline markerThims | 2013Timeline markerThims | 2014Timeline markerThims | 2015

The following is the famous chemical aphorism model of Empedocles (450BC):

Empedocles model 2

The following is the so-called Cowper model, based on the poetry of William Cowper (1782):

Cowper model (1782)

such as discussed further in the physicochemical economics article.

The following is the Goethe model, according to which humans, in his human chemical theory, are chemicals reacting on an estate, aka retort, in the wet way (in water) and dry way (heated):

Goethe model (1809)

The following Alfred Lotka's 1922 trigger action model:

Trigger Action (Lotka, 1925)

which he devised after receiving training in physical chemistry from Wilhelm Ostwald (1902), the person who was the first to realize that a catalyst acts without altering the energy relations of the reaction, and that it usually speeds up a reaction by lowering the activation energy; in Lotka's view, the light that causes the dynamite to explode operates via the same mechanism as when a gazelle "sights" a predator, which causes the explosive flee reaction.

The following is Alfred Lotka's 1925 chocolate machine model of social mechanism, according to which "money" triggers a social mechanism that yields a desired "product":

Lotka chocolate machine model

The following is Alfred Lotka's 1925 money as activation energy model, the money functioning to lower the activation energy barrier of the social reaction:

Lotka Model of Money as Activation Energy

The following is Alfred Lotka's "organic carbon chain" diagram, reduced to its simplest terms, in the form of a "closed chain", aka the original "food chain" model, of three links: [1]

Food chain (Lotka, 1925)

The following is Alfred Lotka's 1925 so-called Mill Wheel of Life diagram (fig 68), aka the original "photon mill" concept:

Lotka Mill Wheel of Life (diagram)
according to which new organisms (evolution) are one of the working products of the turning of the mill.

The following is one of Alfred Lotka's "network chain" diagrams (see: biophysical economics):

Lotka network chain diagram 1

The following is one of Alfred Lotka's "network chain" diagrams (see: biophysical economics):

Lotka network chain diagram 2

The following is a rendition of Alfred Lotka's tropism model of mechanical inevitableness:

Lotka tropisms
“The tropisms of a moth apparently draw it toward a light with the same mechanical inevitableness as the gears of the toy beetle constrain it to follow the table edge.”
— Alfred Lotka (1925), Elements of Physical Biology (pg. 395)

The following is the 1926 Charles Elton model:
Food chain (diagram)

The following is the 1940 Julian Huxley version of the social retort model:

Social retort (new)

The following is the so-called Camus model promoted by Albert Camus (1942) and cited by others, e.g. Randall Schweller (2014), as the model of who Camus model thinkers believe the second law applies to socio-economic-political models and meaning in an atheistic universe:

Camus model

The following is Howard T. Odum's figure 9.1, showing []

Odum figure 9.1

The following is Howard T. Odum's figure 13.2, showing []
Odum diagram 13.1

Here, to note, Odum should be using "mechanical equivalents of heat", i.e. joules, rather than "heat equivalents", whatever he means by this.

The following is Howard T. Odum's figure 13.2, showing showing the "energy flows" to an individual in a modern society, where numbers shown are "heat equivalents" per person per day:

Odum figure 13.2

The following is Howard T. Odum's figure 13.3, showing an individual "energy diagram" for a person who teaches and keeps house:

Odum figure 13.3 (labeled)

The following is the Paul Colinvaux (1979) model:

Food chain model

which attempts to argue that big animals are rare because of the second law.

The following is Mirza Beg's social beaker (see: social retort) model, showing not just energy flowing through the system, but also going through reaction coordinates:
Beg model (1987)
with the implicit model that some energy is stored chemically in the "social" bonds (see: bond energy), which changes as reactants, in initial free energy states Gi, transform into products, to a final free energy state Gf.

The following is the 1995 Ed Stephan model, aka Stephan social system:

Stephan model (1995)

The following is the Yakovenko model (2000) introduced by Victor Yakovenko and his student Adrian Dragulescu:

Yakovenko model (2000)

The following is the 2001 reaction energy model of David Hwang:

Hwang model (2001)

The following is Libb Thims conceptual model at the point (2003) when he saw that the bond energy component was missing from his human free energy calculations involved in the human reproduction reaction:

Thims model (2003) 2
The diagram shows earth as substrate, turnover rate, and collision theory.

The following is a visual of the boundary problem, i.e. coupled energy flow when crossing boundaries, open, closed, or semi-permeable:

Boundary problem (van't Hoff)

Thims, at some point, was comparing the coupled energetics of the passage of people across social boundaries, e.g. the Great Wall of China, Mexico-American boundary, etc., to the energetics of membrane transport:
Social boundary pump

The following is the fall of Rome according to Thomas Wallace (2009):

Wallace model (2009)

The following is Thims' power point slide #28 from UPESW 2013:

Surface as catalyst model (Thims, 2013)

The following is the Gates model, employed by Thims in 2014 and 2015 lectures to explain the fall of a person through a Gibbs energy potential drop, similar to how a rock falls through a gravitational potential energy drop:

Gibbs potential (Gates model)

The following is a social coupling diagram (Ѻ) from Libb Thims’ 2015 “Zerotheism for Kids” lecture, showing how unnatural processes, e.g. nepotism, arranged marriages, acts of so-called "evil", crimes, etc., can be made to occur, via coupling to a more endergonic reaction, and or by using special catalysis and or high pressures and temperatures, such as done in the Haber process:
Social coupling diagram

(add discussion)

1. Lotka, Alfred J. (1925). Elements of Physical Biology (republished (Ѻ) as: Elements of Mathematical Biology, which includes: corrections from Lotka’s notes and a completed list of his publications) (pdf) (Ѻ) (txt) (organic carbon chain, pg. 221). Dover, 1956.
2.Odum, Howard, T. and Elisabeth, Odum, C. (1976). Energy Basis for Man and Nature (pgs. 134, 212-13). McGraw-Hill Book Company.

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