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Title: On the relationship between energy efficiency and complexity: insight on the causality chain
Authors: Ruzzenenti, Franco
Basosi, Riccardo 
Keywords: energy efficiency; symmetry rupture; complexity
Issue Date: 2008
Project: None 
The relationship between the energy efficiency, energy density and complexity level of the system is here addressed from both thermodynamic and evolutionary perspectives. A case study from economic systems is presented to show that, contrary to widespread opinion, energy efficiency is responsible for energy growth and the complexity leap. This article further examines to what extent complexity, on a historical time scale, may evolve to counterbalance conservative effects brought about by energy efficiency. We analyze structural complexity growth by four different paradigms. An evolutionary pattern is then proposed that may encompass the broad dynamics underlying complexity growth. This evolutionary pattern rests on the hypothesis that thermodynamic evolutionary systems are featured from an ever growing influx of energy driven into the system by self-catalytic processes which must find its way through the constrains of the system. The system initially disposes of the energy by expanding, in extent and in number of components, up to saturation due to inner or outer constraints. The two counteractive forces, constraints and growing energy flux, expose the systems to new gradients. Every new gradient upon the system represents a symmetry rupture in components’ space. By exploring a new gradient the system imposes further restrictions on its components and increases its overall degree of freedom.
ISSN: 1755-7437
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