Arto Annila, Dr., Prof.
Department of Physics
POB 64 (Gustaf Hällströmin katu 2)
FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland
Phone: +358 44 2047324
Doctor of Tech., Tech. Phys.,
Helsinki Univ. of Tech, 1991
Civil Engineer, Tech. Phys.,
Helsinki Univ. of Tech., 1988
University of Helsinki, 1996CV
Esitelmiä (Talks in Finnish)
Haastatteluja (Interviews in Finnish)
Kirjoituksia (Writings in Finnish)
· Luonnonlain luonne Tieteessä tapahtuu 2014 32, 20-23.
· Ennustamisen vaikeus Tieteessä tapahtuu 2014 32, 51-52.
· Nykyteoriain vajavaisuuksien syistä Tieteessä tapahtuu 2016 34, 56-57.
Research interests: Holistic worldview
Nature is rich but not random in its diversity. Complexity is also awesome but not arbitrary. There are rules and regularities that we recognize as laws of physics and chemistry, or those that we refer to as principles in biology, economics, behavioral and social sciences. Disciplines are not detached from each other. On the contrary, we find the same patterns all over. The most obvious ones are power laws that display as straight lines on log-log plots sigmoid growth and decline curves that in turn accumulate from skewed distributions and logarithmic spirals.
The principle of least action was already early on thought of as a powerful way to make sense of various complex phenomena just as of simple matters. It says that a difference in energy of any kind will level off in least time. The naturalistic tenet attributes energy and time to everything that exists, and describes all processes as least-time consumption of free energy. The natural principle in the form of an equation of motion yields the aforementioned scale-free patterns and reveals that evolution is inherently a non-determinate and path-dependent process.
Science by submerging in specialties supplies us with detailed information and by unravelling universalities it endows us with insight and thorough understanding. Indeed, when our delusions of uniqueness have narrowed, our worldview has widened toward the entirety.
Sharma V, Annila A. Natural process – Natural selection. Biophys. Chem. 2007 127, 123–128. (pdf) doi:10.1016/j.bpc.2007.01.005
Evolution is given by the principle of increasing entropy as an equation of motion derived from statistical physics of open systems.
Grönholm T, Annila A. Natural distribution. Math. Biosci. 2007 210, 659–667. (pdf) doi:10.1016/j.mbs.2007.07.004
Ubiquitous power laws and lognormal distributions are found to follow from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Kaila VRI, Annila A. Natural selection for least action. Proc. R. Soc. A. 2008 464, 3055–3070. (pdf) doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0178
The principle of least action is shown as equivalent to the 2nd law of thermodynamics and Newton’s 2nd law.
Jaakkola S, Sharma V, Annila A. Cause of chirality consensus. Curr. Chem. Biol. 2008 2, 53–58. (pdf) arXiv:0906.0254
Standards of nature are found to follow from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Jaakkola S, El-Showk S, Annila A. The driving force behind genomic diversity. Biophys. Chem. 2008 134, 232–238, (136) (pdf) arXiv:0807.0892
Genomic diversity is found to follow from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Würtz P, Annila A. Roots of diversity relations. J. Biophys. 2008 ID 654672, 8 p. (pdf) doi:10.1155/2008/654672. arXiv:0906.0251
Species-area relationship is found to follow from the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Annila A, Annila E. Why did life emerge? Int. J. Astrobio. 2008 7, 293–300. (pdf) doi:10.1017/S1473550408004308
Life in its entirety is a natural process that follows the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Tuisku P, Pernu TK, Annila A. In the light of time. Proc. R. Soc. A. 2009 465, 1173–1198. (pdf) doi:10.1098/rspa.2008.0494
A flow of time relates to a quantized flow of energy.
Karnani M, Annila A. Gaia again. BioSystems 2009 95, 82–87. (pdf) doi:10.1016/j.biosystems.2008.07.003
Global homeostasis is a maximum entropy state equivalent to a free energy minimum state.
Sharma V, Kaila VRI, Annila A. Protein folding as an evolutionary process. Physica A 2009 388, 851–862. (pdf)
Protein folding is shown to be an inherently intractable process.
Annila A, Kuismanen E. Natural hierarchy emerges from energy dispersal. BioSystems 2009 95, 227–233. (pdf)
Hierarchy of nature is a manifestation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Karnani M, Pääkkönen K, Annila A. The physical character of information. Proc. R. Soc. A. 2009 465, 2155–2175. (pdf)
Information is physical due to its representations that are subject to the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Annila A, Salthe S. Economies evolve by energy dispersal. Entropy 2009 11, 606–633. (pdf) doi:10.3390/e110406067
Economies are energy transduction systems that follow the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Würtz P, Annila A. Ecological succession as an energy dispersal process. BioSystems 2010 100, 70–78. (pdf)
Succession is a manifestation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Annila A. The 2nd law of thermodynamics delineates dispersal of energy. Int. Rev. Phys. 2010 4, 29–34. (pdf)
The 2nd law of thermodynamics is given in its diverse forms.
Nature in its entirety and every detail is described in terms of quantized actions and related mathematical conjectures are examined.
Annila A, Salthe S. Cultural naturalism. Entropy 2010 12, 1325–1343. (pdf) doi:10.3390/e12061325
Culture is described as a society’s means to consume free energy.
Annila A, Salthe S. Physical foundations of evolutionary theory. J. Non-equilb. Thermodyn. 2010 35, 301–321. (pdf)
The theory of evolution by natural selection is subsumed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Mäkelä T, Annila A. Natural patterns of energy dispersal. Phys. Life Rev. 2010 7, 477–498. (pdf) doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2010.10.001
Many mathematical models are found as approximations of the evolutionary equation of motion.
Annila A. Least-time paths of light. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2011 416, 2944–2948. (pdf)
The principle of least action gives paths of light through space without dark energy and dark matter.
Perihelion precession is calculated using the principle of least action and ascribed to the gravity of the whole Universe.
Behavior in the context of game theory is described as a natural process.
Scale-free characteristics of networks follow from the least-time energy dispersal.
Conceptual conundrums of quantum mechanics are resolved using the principle of least action.
Annila A. Probing Mach’s principle. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2012 423, 1973–1977. (pdf)
The principle of least action accounts for geodetic precession and frame-dragging effects by photon-embodied physical vacuum.
Some present problems in physics and contemporary conjectures of mathematics are addressed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Particles are actions whose quantized geodesics manifest as charges, magnetic moments and masses.
Pernu TK, Annila A. Natural emergence. Complexity 2012 17, 44–47. (pdf) doi:10.1002/cplx.21388
New qualities will materialize when surrounding quanta incorporate in the system and thereby open up new motional modes.
Koskela M, Annila A. Looking for LUCA. Genes 2012 3, 81–87. (pdf)
The unattainable quest for the last universal common ancestor implies impaired understanding of what life actually is.
Annila A, Annila E. The significance of sex. BioSystems 2012 110, 156–161. (pdf)
Both sexual and asexual reproduction can be regarded merely as a means to consume free energy in least time.
Keto J, Annila A. The capricious character of nature. Life 2012 2, 165–169. (pdf)
Courses of nature are inherently unpredictable since processes and their driving forces depend on each other.
Computation is intractable when there are degrees of freedom for dissipative computational steps.
Annila A, Salthe S. On intractable tracks. Physics Essays 2012 25, 232–237. (pdf)
The principle of least action allows us to understand why nature displays rules and regularities but is nevertheless unpredictable.
The flux of quanta embodies the flow of time, and the irreversible free energy consumption creates time’s arrow.
Varpula S, Annila A, Beck C. Thoughts about thinking. Advanced Studies in Biology 2013 5, 135–149. (pdf)
A holistic account of the human brain is given by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.
Annila A, Baverstock K. Genes without prominence: a reappraisal of the foundations of biology. J. Roc. Soc. Interface 2014 11, 20131017. (pdf)
Genes are no ends in themselves, but at service of least-time free energy consumption.
Annila A, Kolehmainen E. On the divide between animate and inanimate. J. Sys. Chem. 2015 6, 1–3. (pdf)
Ubiquitous scale free patterns present convincing evidence that demarcation between animate and inanimate is only imaginary.
Annila A. The substance of gravity. Physics Essays 2015 28, 208–218. (pdf)
A local gravitational potential and the universal vacuum embody photons in pairs of no net polarization.
Annila A. Cosmic rays report from the structure of space. Advances in Astronomy 2015 ID 135025, 11 pp. (pdf)
Spectral features are related to energy densities of the expansion of the Universe, Local Group and the photon-embodied vacuum.
Annila A. Natural thermodynamics. Physica A 2016 444, 843–852. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2015.10.105 (pdf)
The principle of increasing entropy is derived from statistical physics considering that quantized actions embody everything.
Annila A. On the character of consciousness. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 2016 10, 27 (pdf)
Several well-known questions and stances about consciousness are examined and illuminated by statistical physics.
Annila A. Rotation of galaxies within gravity of the Universe. Entropy 2016 18, 191–205; doi: 10.3390/e18050191 (pdf)
The galaxy rotational curve is explained by the principle of least action to result from the overall gravity of the Universe rather than from fictitious dark matter.
Grahn P, Annila A, Kolehmainen E. On the exhaust of EM-drive. submitted 2016 (pdf)
The elusive thrust of an electromagnetic drive is identified by the principle of least action to pairs of photons that co-propagate out-phase.
Annila A. Flyby anomaly via least action. submitted 2016 (pdf)
The unexpected velocity changes during spacecraft flybys of Earth are accounted for by the principle of least action.
Annila A, Baverstock K. Discourse on order vs. disorder. Communicative & Integrative Biology (accepted) 2016 (pdf)
Increase of disorder, just as order, is merely a consequence of least-time free energy consumption.
Lehmonen L, Annila A. Natural classes and natural classification. submitted 2016 (pdf)
Natural categorization places objects to classes so that free energy is consumed in least time.
Annila A, Kolehmainen E. The modern atomism. submitted 2016 (pdf)
The ancient atomism guides one to consider everything to be composed of indivisible entities, known today as quantum of actions.