Vol. 3, 2018

Original research papers

Biophysics

RADIATION HORMESIS IN THE LIGHT OF THE LAWS OF QUANTUM THERMODYNAMICS

Yu. P. Chukova

Pages: 220–224

DOI: 10.21175/RadProc.2018.46

Radioactivity is perceived as the most terrible danger by regular people. Radioactivity has always been studied in such aspect. Therefore, the occurrence of messages about the useful effects of a weak influence of radioactivity has caused counteraction and has generated the debate lasting till this moment. Thermodynamics is capable of bringing clarity to this problem. Else, in the 19th century, thermodynamics discovered two types of interactions of the system with the environment. In one case, the volume and entropy are constant in a system, and in the second one, the volume and temperature remain constant. The process in the second case is called an isothermal one and in the first case - a thermal one. Quantum thermodynamics was developed in the second half of the 20th century for electromagnetic radiation. It was shown that isothermal processes take place at weak influence on the system, and the thermal ones - at strong influences. Let us pay attention to the fact that the logarithmic scale for the absorbed energy is used for isothermal processes, and the linear scale is used for thermal processes. The logarithmic scale allows to uncover what is hidden in the zero point of thermal processes. In the previous reports of the author at RAD 2012, 2014, 2017 conferences, it was shown that quantum thermodynamics is valid for all three parts of radiation (α-, β- ,γ--radiation) and not only for γ-radiation. The application of the thermodynamic theory to hormesis effects allows us to provide a fresh insight on the essence of proceeding processes. For the experimenters who recorded a U-curve of a dose-effect dependence, it is useful to understand and remember that they study the identical answer of an organism which is a result of two fundamentally different processes: the left branch of the U-curve shows the end of the processes of a weak influence on an organism, and the right branch is the beginning of the effect of strong influences. Strong influences give a linear (or close to it) dose-effect dependence. They have been studied comprehensively and for a long time, and they are object of a hygienic standardization. Among the investigators studying strong influences, there is a different view on the threshold for a dangerous action: some consider dangerous even the smallest doses, and others reject any effects of doses below the threshold. Maybe they are excused by their ignorance of thermodynamics, especially if one is to consider that in thermodynamics there is no concept of harm. But if experimenters wish to deeply understand the essence of the processes they study, they should get acquainted with the general laws of quantum thermodynamics. Then, it would become clear to them why hormesis was found not only in radiobiology, but also in many other sciences. Hormesis is fixed by any experimenter working in a certain range of influences where the system changes the type of its answer to environmental influences (boundary of isothermal and thermal processes).
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    Retrieved on: Apr. 23, 2018
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    Retrieved on: Apr. 23, 2018
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