Standard Article

Cellular Thermodynamics

  1. Joe Wolfe

Published Online: 11 MAR 2004

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0001363



How to Cite

Wolfe, J. 2004. Cellular Thermodynamics. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2004

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (16 FEB 2015)


Energy of various types is shared among molecules according to Boltzmann′s distribution. This simple law is used to explain aspects of the function and structure of cells, including reaction rates, electrochemical equilibria, osmosis, phase equilibria, molecular aggregation and the stability of membranes.


  • thermodynamics;
  • cells;
  • entropy;
  • energy;
  • osmosis;
  • temperature