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The metabolism of a glucose molecule (see previous

ISBN: 9780201380279 40

Solution for problem 7P Chapter 5

An Introduction to Thermal Physics | 1st Edition

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Problem 7P Problem 7P

The metabolism of a glucose molecule (see previous problem) occurs in many steps, resulting in the synthesis of 38 molecules of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) out of ADP (adenosine diphosphate) and phosphate ions. When the ATP splits back into ADP and phosphate, it liberates energy that is used in a host of important processes including protein synthesis, active transport of molecules across cell membranes, and muscle contraction. In a muscle, the reaction ATP → ADP + phosphate is catalyzed by an enzyme called myosin that is attached to a muscle filament. As the reaction takes place, the myosin molecule pulls on an adjacent filament, causing the muscle to contract. The force it exerts averages about 4 piconewtons and acts over a distance of about 11 nm. From this data and the results of the previous problem, compute the “efficiency” of a muscle, that is, the ratio of the actual work done to the maximum work that the laws of thermodynamics would allow.

Problem:

A muscle can be thought of as a fuel cell, producing work from the metabolism of glucose:

C6H12O6 + 6O2 → 6CO2 + 6H2O.

(a) Use the data at the back of this book to determine the values of ΔH and ΔG for this reaction, for one mole of glucose. Assume that the reaction takes place at room temperature and atmospheric pressure.

(b) What is the maximum amount of work that a muscle can perform, for each mole of glucose consumed, assuming ideal operation?

(c) Still assuming ideal operation, how much heat is absorbed or expelled by the chemicals during the metabolism of a mole of glucose? (Be sure to say which direction the heat flows.)

(d) Use the concept of entropy to explain why the heat flows in the direction it does.

(e) How would your answers to parts (b) and (c) change, if the operation of the muscle is not ideal?

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The metabolism of a glucose molecule (see previous

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