Arto Annila, Dr., Prof.       

E-mail: arto.annila(at)




Doctor of Tech., Tech. Phys.,

Helsinki Univ. of Tech, 1991

Civil Engineer, Tech. Phys.,

Helsinki Univ. of Tech., 1988

M.Sc. Biochemistry,

University of Helsinki, 1996


Open application






· Why Life Originated?

· A challenge to the genetic interpretation of biology

· A Challenge to the Supremacy of DNA

· Evolution as Described by the Second   Law of Thermodynamics

· 2nd Law in Economic Evolution

· Crude Oil and Social Unrest

· Kvanttimekaniikka ja energiavirta

· A second look at supernovae light: Universe's expansion may be understood without dark energy

· Why is economic growth so popular?

· Thermodynamics and poker

· The P-versus-NP page

· Maailma on yksi

· Irtisanottu!

· Professorit puhuvat potkuista

· Nasa kehitti moottorin...

· Uudenlainen rakettimoottori...

· Tieteeseen luotetaan...

· A new science of life...




· Natural emergence

· The meaning of mass

· What is life?

· Theory of biology

· The character of natural law

· Spectrum of cosmic rays

· Universal paradigm: from bottom to conclusions

· On the origin of universal patterns



Esitelmiä (Talks in Finnish)

· Ajatuksia ajattelusta

· Mitä on elämä?

· Informaation olemus

· Luonnonlain luonne

· Miksi maailma muuttuu?

· Seksin merkitys?

· Selittävätkö luonnonlait kaiken?

· Universaali paradigma: pohjalta päätelmiin



Haastatteluja (Interviews in Finnish)

· Minna Pyykön maailma:

· Tiedeykkönen: Maupertuis ja pienimmän vaikutuksen laki



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.

· Tiedeaforismeja

Research interests



Since 2006 I have been motivated about general principles by basic observations. Nature is rich in diversity but not random. Complexity is awesome but not arbitrary. There are rules and regularities that we recognize as laws of physics and chemistry, and as canons in biology, economics, behavioral and social sciences. Disciplines are linked together. We find the same patterns all over. The most obvious ones are power laws. The straight lines on log-log plots are sigmoid growth and decline curves that sum up skewed distributions and logarithmic spirals.
   These patterns are ubiquitous.
They make no distinction between living and non-living or microscopic and cosmic or innate and artificial. Universality implies a universal principle. Everything comprises of the same basic constituents in accordance with atomism. Hence, while an observation could be interpreted by some specific theory, all observations should logically be comprehended by the same tenet.



The principle of least action was already early on thought of as a powerful way to make sense of complex just as of simple phenomena. It says: difference in energy of any kind will level off in least time. The naturalistic tenet attributes everything that exists with energy and time. It describes all systems consuming free energy in least time.
  The natural principle in the form of an equation of motion, derived from statistical mechanics of open quantized systems, yields the aforementioned scale-free patterns. It reveals
that evolution is inherently a non-determinate and path-dependent process, which is history.
  Yet evolution is not a random sequence of events.
Processes as flows of energy will all by themselves search by variation and select naturally those ways and means, such as species and societies or gadgets and galaxies or behavior and business to consume free energy in the least time. This way systems step from one state to another by either acquiring or expelling at least one quantum of action. It is the basic building block of everything. The photon is the most familiar form of a single quantum. A step down in free energy is an irreversible step forward in time.
  Eventually, when the
system attains balance with its surroundings, no new property will emerge and no old one will vanish. Only at the free energy minimum stasis systemic dynamics is on stable and computable trajectories.  




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.
   Many a fallacy and anomaly will disappear in examinations by the natural principle of least time. As apparent from papers below m
any phenomena, puzzles and paradoxes can be comprehended by the universal law of nature.



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 natural and artificial 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 as any other form of variety 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 and other systemic relationships are 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 resulting from the least-time free energy consumption.

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 from a system to its surroundings and vice versa.

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 as any other evolutionary course.

Annila A, Kuismanen E. Natural hierarchy emerges from energy dispersal. BioSystems 2009 95, 227–233. (pdf)

           Rise of hierarchy is a consequence of the least-time free energy consumption.

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 of a system from one state to another 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 universal law is given in its diverse forms.

Annila A. All in action. Entropy 2010 12, 2333–2358. (pdf)

           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, 477498. (pdf) doi:10.1016/j.plrev.2010.10.001

           Many mathematical models of systems 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.

Koskela M, Annila A. Least-action perihelion precession. Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 2011 417, 1742–1746. (pdf)

           Perihelion precession is calculated using the principle of least action and ascribed to the gravity of the whole Universe.

Anttila J, Annila A. Natural games. Phys. Lett. A 2011 375, 37553761. (pdf)

           Behavior in the context of game theory is described as a natural process.

Hartonen T, Annila A. Natural networks as thermodynamic systems. Complexity  2012 18, 5362. (pdf)

           Universal characteristics of networks follow from the least-time free energy consumption.

Annila A, Kallio-Tamminen T. Tangled in entanglement. Physics Essays 2012 25, 495499. (pdf)

           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, 19731977. (pdf)

           The principle of least action accounts for geodetic precession and frame-dragging effects by photon-embodied physical vacuum.

Annila A. Space, time and machines. Int. J. Theor. Math. Phys. 2012 2, 16–32. (pdf) arxiv:0910.2629

           Some present problems in physics and contemporary conjectures of mathematics are addressed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Annila A. The meaning of mass. Int. J. Theor. Math. Phys. 2012 2, 67–78. (pdf)

           Particles are actions whose quantized geodesics manifest as charges, magnetic moments and masses.

Pernu TK, Annila A. Natural emergence. Complexity 2012 17, 4447. (pdf) doi:10.1002/cplx.21388 

           New qualities will materialize when surrounding quanta incorporate to the system and thereby open up new motional modes.

Koskela M, Annila A. Looking for LUCA. Genes 2012 3, 8187. (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, 156161. (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, 165169. (pdf)

           Courses of nature are inherently unpredictable since processes and their driving forces depend on each other.

Annila A. Physical portrayal of computational complexity. ISRN Computational Mathematics 2012 321372, 115. (pdf) arxiv/0906.1084

           Computation is intractable when there are degrees of freedom for dissipative computational steps.

Annila A, Salthe S. On intractable tracks. Physics Essays 2012 25, 232237. (pdf)

           The principle of least action allows us to understand why nature displays rules and regularities but is nevertheless unpredictable.

Annila A, Salthe S. Threads of time. ISRN Thermodynamics 2012 850957, 17. (pdf) isrn thermodynamics/2012/850957/

           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, 135149. (pdf)

           A holistic account of the human brain is given by the systemic theory of least-time free energy consumption.

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, 13. (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, 208218. (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 of rays 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, 843852. doi:10.1016/j.physa.2015.10.105 (pdf)

           Universal characteristics and principles are derived from statistical physics considering quantized actions to embody every system.

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, 191205. 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. AIP Advances 2016 6, 065205. doi: 10.1063/1.4953807 (pdf)

           The elusive thrust of an electromagnetic drive is identified by the principle of least action to photons co-propagating out-phase.

Annila A. Flyby anomaly via least action. Progress in Physics 2017 13, 92-97. (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 2016 9, e1187348. doi: 10.1080/19420889.2016.1187348 (pdf)

          Increase of disorder, just as order, in any system 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. Atomism revisited. Physics Essays 2016 29, 532541(pdf)

          The ancient atomism guides one to consider everything to be composed of indivisible entities, known today as quantum of actions.

Koivu-Jolma M, Annila A. Epidemic as a natural process. submitted 2016 (pdf)

           Epidemic is described as a natural process to account for its capricious courses and overarching consequences.

Lehmonen L, Annila A. On the dark star's shine. submitted 2016 (pdf)

           The black hole is described to consume neutrons for paired photons that jet out as mere energy density rays.

Annila A. Evolution of the universe by the principle of least action. submitted 2016 (pdf)

           Path-dependent and scale-free characteristics of universal evolution are accounted by the principle of least action.

Grahn P, Annila A, Kolehmainen E. On the carrier of inertia. submitted 2016 (pdf)

           Inertia is described as a reaction taken to an action by paired-photon embodied vacuum.

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