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Social Equivalent of Free Energy


  • Josip Stepanic

    () (Department of Quality, Faculty of Mech. Eng. & Naval Arch. - University of Zagreb)


Characterisation of unbounded resources of a social system within the sociological interpretation has resulted in a large number of different notions, which are relevant in different situations. From the view point of statistical mechanics, these notions resemble free energy. In this paper the concept of social free energy is introduced and first steps toward its development presented. The social free energy is a function equal to physical free energy appropriately determined for the social system, with intrinsically sociological interpretation as a measure of social action obtainable in a given social system without changes in its structure. Its construction is a consequence of response of a social system to recognised parts of environment dynamics. It is argued that development of a social system response resembles exciting the normal modes of a general, physical system. Classification-ACM-1998: J.4; Social and behavioral sciences - Sociology

Suggested Citation

  • Josip Stepanic, 2004. "Social Equivalent of Free Energy," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage:, vol. 2(1), pages 53-60.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:2:y:2004:i:1:p:53-60

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. McCauley, Joseph L., 2003. "Thermodynamic analogies in economics and finance: instability of markets," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 329(1), pages 199-212.
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    3. Adrian Dragulescu & Victor M. Yakovenko, 2000. "Statistical mechanics of money," Papers cond-mat/0001432,, revised Aug 2000.
    4. McCauley, Joseph l., 2004. "Thermodynamic analogies in economics and finance: instability of markets," MPRA Paper 2159, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Aoki,Masanao, 1998. "New Approaches to Macroeconomic Modeling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521637695, March.
    6. Gaveau, B. & Martinás, K. & Moreau, M. & Tóth, J., 2002. "Entropy, extropy and information potential in stochastic systems far from equilibrium," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 305(3), pages 445-466.
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