homework problems 2
Two hmolscience style multiple choice homework problems, from the 2009 book Geography Work Book by Indian geographer S.K. Manocha, identifying American physicist John Q. Stewart as the initiator of the field of social physics or sociophysics as the field came to be called into the 1980s. [16]
In hmolscience, homework problems are any number of noted example problems and queries proposed in various articles and books, some of which are slowly being collected below and given out as assigned questions to students, such as in human thermodynamics education.

In 1975 to 1995, American materials scientist engineer John Patterson, at Iowa State University, famously gave handouts of various creationist claims about thermodynamics to his thermodynamics students to find the reason for the incorrectness of each statement as homework assignments.

The original listing of actual college textbook style and of chapter homework problems were penned by American physicist Alan Lightman in 1992, Swedish physical chemist Sture Nordholm in 1997, American astrophysicist Christopher Hirata in circa 2000.

In 2003, American mechanical engineers Michael Moran and Howard Shapiro, in their Fundamentals of Thermodynamics, and subsequent editions to follow (2007, 2010), began to include a few thermodynamics applied to humanities stylized homework problems. [11]

Some of these homework problems, and others, are listed below, in order of ranking predominance:

Nordholm’s problems | Human chemical thermodynamics
In 1997, Swedish physical chemist Sture Nordholm, in his Journal of Chemical Education article “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy”, first outlined the subject of what he called animate thermodynamics, or thermodynamics applied to the humanities, and then concluded with eight example homework problems. These are listed below (first column), each listed with with Nordholm's appended "comments" (second column). The third column contains links to Hmolpedia pages that might be helpful or give clues to solving the given problem.

P1. Discuss the human driving forces that brought down the Berlin wall.Comment: was it not a search for freedom acting like an osmotic pressure that brought down the wall? Drive
Social pressure

P2. Which physical property most directly influences the relative importance of energy minimization and entropy maximization in an inanimate physical system? Can you think of an equivalent property applicable to human behavior?Comment: Temperature establishes the balance between energy and entropy in inanimate thermodynamics. Would “standard of living” similarly describe the balance between wealth (or poverty) and freedom?Gibbs free energy
Spontaneity criterion

P3. Discuss the political systems dictatorship and democracy from the point of view of the proposed rules of human behavior. Which system of government is most in tune with animate thermodynamics? How might the level of education in a society influence the choice of system government?Comment: is not democracy a form of government in tune with the thermodynamics of animate behavior? If generates freedom (entropy) by spreading decision making among people. Clearly the individual rights granted all citizens are also balanced against restrictive laws with the general intent of maximizing total freedom in society. Dictatorship, on the other hand, attempts to put a straightjacket on freedom by a combination of threats and promise of material reward. This runs counter to the basic law of animate thermodynamics. A high level of education simply speeds up the irresistible tendency to maximize freedom by making people aware of more alternatives and better equipped to explore them.Rossini debate
Political thermodynamics
Mental entropy

P4. In many texts disorder is associated with high entropy. Give a critical analysis of the relevance of this analogy within first inanimate then animate thermodynamics. Is it true that anarchy maximizes freedom for individuals? How is the need for law and order related to the population density in society? Is there an inanimate analogy for this aspect of government of humans?Comments: disorder is, at best, a very construed synonym of freedom. When used in texts on thermodynamics it is surely clear to the authors that disorder in an ideal gas increase with volume; but to most initiated, disorder is a more qualitative concept. A gas may then appear to be as disordered in a small volume as in a large volume. In the animate realm, youthful observers may think that anarchy is the ultimate freedom but the older and wiser know that constrains of the law, personal discipline, and morality actually increase freedom when summed over all members of society. The closer contact we have with the rest of humanity the more we need laws, discipline and morality. In inanimate thermodynamics it is known that the hard sphere fluid, the structure of which is only determined by the principle of maximal entropy, becomes ordered at high density.Principle of elementary disorder
Human entropy
Order, Disorder, and Entropy

P5. Is it true that spontaneous processes observable to us appear to be driven mainly by energy minimization? Why might this be so?Comment: energy minimization appears to rule when the observed subsystem is at a higher temperature (has more energy per degree of freedom) than the environment. Observable processes around us often arise when macroscopic objects have been given large (superthermal) amounts of energy which are then in time dissipated out to microscopic objects in the environment. We can see the macroscopic but generally not the microscopic degrees of freedom. We can impart energy to a few objects of our own dimensions but cannot see the many atomic and molecular motions that receive the energy lost from the few macroscopic degrees of freedom by dissipation.Spontaneity
Spontaneity criterion
Spontaneous reaction

P6. In inanimate thermodynamics energy is usually conserved in the total system considered. However, in the world of human behavior, wealth is created and consumed by each individual to a varying extent. Consider the implications of this difference. Does it invalidate the analogy?Comment: clearly wealth is an immensely multifaceted quantity that will be hard to fit into the mold of inanimate energy. However, is this not a problem more of practice than of principle? There would appear to be many cases of, e.g. economic behavior of humans, where the practice of thermodynamics is comparatively straightforward. In other cases the implementation of thermodynamics may involve unfathomable difficulty.Conservation of energy
Robert Kenoun (2006)
Frederick Soddy (1926)
Economic thermodynamics

P7. Is human behavior more complicated than the behavior of inanimate matter? Consider this question and give supporting arguments for you conclusion.Comment: the intuitive answer is ‘yes’, but try to justify it by considering what factors make an inanimate problem hard and apply the same criteria to the inanimate problem.Human behavior
Animate matter
Animate molecule
Human molecule

P8. Thermodynamics is often applied to the evolution of life-forms on earth. Critics have opposed such applications, arguing that thermodynamics only become applicable when, for example, and animal dies. Which side of this argument do you favor? Why? Comment: the very definition of life in distinction from lifeless existence seems capable of generating interminable argument. Perhaps the scale is continuous and divided into life and lifeless only by personal predilection. Where on such a continuous scale [great chain of being; molecular evolution table] would thermodynamics cease to be relevant?Second law (disordering) evolution (ordering) reconciliations
Defunct theory of life

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Lightman's discussion questions | Human thermodynamics
In 1992, American physicist Alan Lightman, in his Great Ideas in Physics, added end discussion questions which he says should be either solved by students as part of their coursework in a one semester course or done as part of an open classroom discussion: [5]

Here we are queried on the work of the great Henry Adams, the first dual thinker in both human chemistry and human thermodynamics, and his general aim to reformulate the study of human history in the form of history thermodynamics, based on the second law.Here, interestingly, we are queried about the relatively unknown ideas on the thermodynamics of the the rise and fall of civilizations by Zachary Hatch; ideas of which have been produced prior to him by Henry Adams and after him by Thomas Wallace.

DQ II-10DQ II-11
Here we are queried on the subject of literature thermodynamics, via questions about the ideas of American writer Thomas Pynchon, the second law in society, entropy, Maxwell's demon, and information theory.Here we are queried about the subject of religious thermodynamics by citing American engineer Henry Morris and his views on God, evolution, and the second law.

Lightman, in the same appendix, has other similar sorts of discussion problems / homework problems in areas of human physics, such as on how relativity and or how the Heisenberg uncertainty principle applies to the humanities, in areas such as philosophy.

Of note, in 1996, Lightman published a twenty-page solutions to addition problems manual. [6]

Hirata's exercises | Human chemical thermodynamics
In circa 2000, American prodigy turned astrophysicist Christopher Hirata, penned a number of "exercise examples" to each of the five parts of his "The Physics of Relationships" article (see: relationship physics); some of these are listed below: [8]

(relationship thermochemistry)
1. Solve the equilibrium constant expression for M, fx, and fy in the general case.

2. If heat is released when a boy and girl get together, and they each take up the heat when they separate, then what is the sign of DE for the reaction X + Y XY? Does K go up or down if the temperature rises, say, because the population takes a trip to a beach in Hawaii? Does this make sense?

3. Test out Le Chatlier's principle on the X + Y XY equilibrium and check that your results make sense.

4. Challenge problem: Work out the mathematics of homosexuality in a men-only society through the reaction 2 Y Y2, considering limiting cases as was done in this chapter's treatment of heterosexual relations with both men and women present.

(complex equilibria of men and women)
1. Research and explain, in no more than a paragraph, why chemists of times past were so idiotic as to use the base ten rather than the natural logarithmic scale.

2. Why would Caltech not be a good model for a strong interaction equilibrium of X, Y, and XY? Can you remedy the situation, perhaps by developing a theory in which [X]<<1?

3. Suppose there are 40% girls and 60% boys in a population with $Kc=2.2. What fraction of the girls will be free according to the "exact" equilibrium constant? How bad or good is the theory of this chapter in explaining this system?


In 2003, Moran, in his Fundamentals of Thermodynamics (3rd ed), co-authored with American mechanical engineer Howard N. Shapiro (c.1947-), and editions to follow (2007, 2010), began to include thermodynamics applied to humanities stylized homework problems, mostly of the economics thermodynamics variety; the first of which is the following Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen 1971 "material entropy" framed query: [12]


The following are a few others from the 2007 edition: [13]

6.6D (2007)6.10D (2010)

Here, in 6.6D, we see what seems to be discussion of pre-second law based thermodynamic economic equilibrium theories, and, in 6.10D, life and second law paradox discussions, as found in the works of Erwin Schrodinger (1944), Ilya Prigogine (1971-2003), and Eric Schneider (2005). The following is one from the 2010 edition, co-authored with Daisie D. Boettner and Margaret B. Bailey: [14]

5.1D (2010)

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Tyndall-Maxwell questions
In 1874 a debate erupted at a Belfast, Ireland, meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) on whether or not modern science will replace religion or whether the two will forever remain separate, which involved a number of the greatest scientists of the 20th century such as James Maxwell, and a number of the founders of thermodynamics, such as Peter Tait and William Thomson. The debate erupted when the newly appointed BAAS president John Tyndall announced boldly that “all religious theories, schemes and systems must submit to the control of science, and relinquish all thought of controlling it.” In the four years to follow resulted in a number of articles published in Nature, one book, exchanges of post cards, and one last dying poem by Maxwell all centered around the nature of thermodynamics, death, morality, and the theories of immortality. A few of these openly discussed queries, as published mostly in Nature, are listed below.

Q1. Will religion eventually submit completely to the control of science? This was Irish physicist John Tyndall’s outspoken view over the recent growing controversy over the teaching of science at the Catholic University in Ireland. This is an ongoing issue as evidenced by the recent 2005 court case Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which American high school teachers had their jobs threatened for teaching evolution and the human implications of the origin of life. Tyndall-Steward-Tait debate
Religious thermodynamics
Origin of life

Q2. Is a person’s soul an amphicheiral knot governed by the evolution, thermodynamics, and cosmology?This was the great James Maxwell's dying question, written in the last year of his existence, as he was dying from the same stomach cancer that took his mother at the same age that he died.

In other words, in modern terms, knowing that a human is a molecule, with varieties of so-called "moral" and "amoral" movement, does a person, in reality, have a soul or measurable moral weight that is conserved in the course of the continuity of the universal movement, either though the conservation of force or conservations of energy or the first law of thermodynamics?
Soul theorist
Soul snow
Why I’m not a molecule
Ra theology
A Paradoxical Ode (1878)
Philosopher’s paradox
Hermann Stoffkraft
Human molecule
Cessation thermodynamics
What happens at death?

Q3. Do molecules feel something which is related to sensation? This originated in by Swiss-born German botanist Carl von Nageli’s 1877 lecture “The Limits of Natural Knowledge”, commented on by Maxwell, in which the issue of what happens to conceptions such as consciousness, sensation, mind, free will, pain and pleasure, etc., when one begins to descend down the evolutionary ladder to the atomic origin level. Unbridgeable gap
Philosopher’s paradox
Evolution timeline
Carl von Nageli

Adams' problems
In 1873, American historian learned of Hippolyte Taine’s job description of the historian as one who follows and studies the transformations of individual human molecules or groups of human molecules and in doing so writes out their psychology, after which, in the four decades to follow, Adams embarked in a path of self-education and the means to apply physics, chemistry, and thermodynamics to explain humanity. Some of the questions he grappled with along the way are listed below.

Q1. How would one go about constructing a science of “social chemistry” as the study of the attractions and repulsions of equivalent human molecules?In 1885, Adams discussed this view in a letter to his wife, stating that it was a “science yet to be created”, and that daily study of this topic gave him his greatest satisfaction. Human molecule
Human particle
Human chemistry
Social chemistry
Gottman stability ratio

Q2. How would you go about formulating the thermodynamics of a socialistic society?In 1909, Adams commented that he would walk a few thousand-million miles to be able to go back in time two years to discuss this subject with Scottish physicist William Thomson. Sociological thermodynamics
Social physics

Q3. How does the second law of thermodynamics apply to history studies?In 1910, Adams wrote an entire book on this subject and mailed it to all of the history teachers in America.Rise and fall of civilization
A Letter to American Teachers of History
History thermodynamics
Phase rule

Rossini's problems
In his 1971 Priestly Medal addressed American chemical thermodynamicist Frederick Rossini argued that chemical thermodynamics can be used to explain the paradox between freedom and security in social life. Some thirty years later, following the 9/11 situation, Rossini's proposal was brought up again in the Journal of Chemical Educations, which sparked the heated Rossini debate, on whether or not chemical thermodynamics has any bearing on the human condition.

Q1. Find a formula, derived from chemical thermodynamics, for fighting terrorism, while preserving civil liberties? This was American chemist Harold Leonard’s 2006 proposal for solving the issues arising in the post 9/11 world. Rossini debate

Q2. Does chemical thermodynamics have the power to explain the human condition? If so, is there danger in this prospect? This was American physical chemist John Wojcik’s objection to Leonard’s proposal.

Q3. Is the usage of “entropy” to explain variations in levels of human of “freedom” nothing but a chemical anthropomorphism that has no part in the conceptual framework of science? This is John Wojcik’s view.

Thims’ problems
The following are a few example queries left open from American chemical engineer Libb Thims’ 2007 Human Chemistry textbook summary chapter on human thermodynamics: [2]

Q1. How does one measure Oprah Winfrey’s power (#14 in Forbes’ 2006 list of world powers) in a manner equivalent to the lifting of buckets of water per unit time?
Social power
● Refs: [2][3]

Q2. What does Oprah’s power have to do with daily household reactions and the work derived therefrom?The question touches on the coupled nature of the typical 2.5 child family household, and the difficult to quantify nature of household work, which seems to be done without monetary reward, as contrasted with occupational work, which is more easily quantified by yearly salary. Free energy coupling
Social power
● Refs: [2][3]

Q3: How does one use the Gibbs free energy equation and thermodynamic tables to pick the right mate? A key focal point to this problem is the study of the difference between the initial state (unbonded reacts) and final state (paired products) between two points (years) in time, particularly on the nature of the enthalpy change and entropy change between the two states of the systems of the reacting human molecules.

Two significant points that may tend to be overlooked, initially, are that 85% of male-female reactions will result in a child product being produced in the end state as well as a bonded parental structure, of the unified male and female M≡F entity, which itself is quantified energetically as a single molecule (dihumanide molecule), for 57% of reactions at the 15-year mark, in the calculation of Gibbs free energy change.
Mate selection
Gibbs free energy
Goethe's human affinity table
Love the chemical reaction
ReactionMatch.com (theory)
Human chemical reaction (history)

Moriarty's problems
In 2009, Irish thermal-nano physicist Philip Morality made a YouTube video, for the Sixty Symbols video series of Nottingham University, explaining entropy in terms of the Boltzmann-Planck logarithmic interpretation of entropy, S = k ln Ω, and attempted to explain the microstates interpretation or multiplicity in terms of the students in a field. When questioned about potential errors in his video, by American chemical engineer Libb Thims, Moriarty mulled over his students as molecules analogy and made a recant video stating that his first description was only an analogy, and that in reality arrangements of students cannot be assigned with a thermodynamic entropy. This resulted as a prolonged 61-page, 15+ person, involving a number of noted thermodynamicists, such as Pierre Perrot (author of the 1998 dictionary A to Z of Thermodynamics), Ingo Muller (author of the 2007 A History of Thermodynamics), among others, debate over whether or not arrangements of people have a thermodynamic entropy or not.

Q1. Can you say that a particular arrangement, say close-packed vs. spread out, of students, say in a field, has a thermodynamic entropy? The central issue here is that Moriarty views the measurement of entropy in terms of the physicist perspective or Boltzmann perspective (1878), i.e. statistical mechanics view, which has limited applicability (depends on the principle of elementary disorder), whereas the original 1865 Clausius-definition and method of measuring the entropy of bodies applies to all bodies of the universe.Entropy
Clausius entropy
Boltzmann entropy
Moriarty-Thims debate
Philip Moriarty

Q2. What physical units would you use to describe the entropy of a distribution of students? J per K? If so, justify why this is an appropriate choice of units!
Hmol science
Social Avogadro number
Dunbar number
Single particle thermodynamics

Q3. If a field full of students can be modeled as being equivalent to a chamber filled with molecules how would you define the equilibrium state of the students?
Equilibrium state
Spencerian dilemma
Heat death

Q4. How much thermodynamic work is done ‘by a student’ if he or she is moved from one position to another? (Or if he or she ‘decides’ to move from one position to another)?
Mathematical introduction
Principle of the transmission of work
● Ref: [4]

Q5. Can you construct the equivalent of a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution function for the "speeds" of the students? Are the 'velocities' of the students Gaussian distributed?
Roy Henderson
Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution

Q6. Can fundamental quantum mechanics be applied to explain the behavior of "human molecules"? Is there physical evidence for a "human wavefunction"? Has anyone ever carried out the equivalent of the double slit experiment for humans?! Does decoherence, complementarity, and or entanglement apply to the quantum mechanical description of human molecules?
Human molecule
Human particle
Human physics
HT pioneers
Double-slit experiment
Quantum entanglement

Newly added
See main: Dostoyevsky dilemma
The following are newly added problems:

● “If god does not exist, is it thus true that ‘everything is permissible’, as Fyodor Dostoyevsky famously wrote in his 1880 The Brothers Karamazov? (Ѻ)

Library walk problem
See main: Library walk problem
In 1992, Korean-born American physicalism philosopher Jaegwon Kim, in his “Downward Causation in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism”, asked the following straightforward question: [10]

Scenario: “It occurs to you that you need to check a few references for an article you are writing, so you decide to walk over to the library after your office hours. Miracle of miracles! In half an hour, you find your body, all of it, at the front steps of the library, half a mile away. Think of all the molecules that make up your body: each of them has traversed the half-mile, zigzag path from your office to the library, and your whole body is now where it is.”

Question: “What explains the spatial displacement of your body from the office to the library? What caused the motion of each and every molecule of your body over the half-mile path?”
Office Library walk (diagram)
This, comparatively speaking, is a fairly decent hmolscience-type homework problem, though not one easily solved, at first.

1. Nordholm, Sture. (1997). “In Defense of Thermodynamics: an Animate Analogy”, Journal of Chemical Education, 74(3): 273-75.
2. Thims, Libb. (2007). Human Chemistry (Volume Two) (ch. 16: Human Thermodynamics, pgs. 653-701; Watt's pony power vs Forbes' world power, pg. 655). Morrisville, NC: LuLu.
3. Grove, Jim. (2011). “A Science of Social Power”, JHT beta, Feb 21.
4. Thims, Libb. (2009). “Thermodynamic Philosophy of Evolution”, (Network: abstract) (Wikiversity: abstract) (13-pages), in: Philosophy of Evolution, AK Purohit (editor). India: Publisher (circa 2011 publication date).
5. Lightman, Alan. (2000). Great Ideas in Physics: the Conservation of Energy, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, the Theory of Relativity, and Quantum Mechanics (§: Conservation Laws and Human Freedom, pgs. 35-36; §: The Second Law Applied to Human Society, pgs. 110-114; Appendix B: Problems and Discussion Questions, pgs. 253-). McGraw-Hill.
6. Lightman, Alan. (1996). Great Ideas in Physics: Solutions to Additional Problems (20 pages). Publisher.
7. Manocha, S.K. (2009). Geography Work Book (social physics, pgs. 161, 171). Pearson Education India.
8. (a) Hirata, Christopher M. (c.2000). “The Physics of Relationships” (section: Fun), Tapir.Caltech.edu; (WayBack Machine).
(b) Hirata, Christopher M. (2010). "The Physics of Relationships", Journal of Human Thermodynamics, 6(5): 62-76.
9. Manocha, S.K. (2009). Geography Work Book (social physics, pgs. 161, 171). Pearson Education India.
10. Jaegwon, Kim. (1992). “Downward Causation in Emergentism and Nonreductive Physicalism”, in: Emergence or Reduction?: Essays on the Prospects of Nonreductive Physicalism (pgs. 119-). Walter de Gruyter.
11. (a) Moran, Michael J. and Shapiro, Howard N. (2003). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (3rd ed) (6.10D, pg. 290). Wiley.
(b) Moran, Michael J. and Shapiro, Howard N. (2007). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (6th ed) (far removed, pg. 215; Boltzmann relation, pg. 281; living things, pg. 282). Wiley.
(c) Moran, Michael J., Shapiro, Howard N., Boettner, Daisie D., and Bailey, Margaret B. (2010). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (7th ed) (5.10D, pg. 277). Wiley.
12. Moran, Michael J. and Shapiro, Howard N. (2003). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (3rd ed) (6.10D, pg. 290). Wiley.
13. Moran, Michael J. and Shapiro, Howard N. (2007). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (6th ed) (far removed, pg. 215; Boltzmann relation, pg. 281; living things, pg. 282). Wiley.
14. Moran, Michael J., Shapiro, Howard N., Boettner, Daisie D., and Bailey, Margaret B. (2010). Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics (7th ed) (5.10D, pg. 277). Wiley.

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