• Unit 4-Systems Framework

    Key Points:
    • A system is an assemblage of parts, working together, forming a functional whole.
    • Systems can be small or large.
    • Open. closed and isolated systems exist in theory though most living systems are open systems.
    • The first and second laws of thermodynamics and the concepts of positive and negative feedback mechanisms apply to both living and non-living systems.
    • Most living systems are in a steady state equilibrium, not a static one though then may be stable or unstable.
    • Material and energy undergo transfers and transformations in flowing from one storage to the next.
    • Models have their limitations but can be useful in helping us to understand systems.
    Key Words:
    system open system closed system
    isolated system first law of thermodynamics entropy
    equilibrium second law of thermodynamics negative feedback
    positive feedback transfers transformations
    flows storages models

Last Modified on March 24, 2011