The Energy Portal
Welcome to Wikipedia's energy portal, your gateway to the subject of energy and its effects on the world around us. This portal is aimed at educating you about energy and all its uses.
Energy is a set of physics measures. Popularly the term is most often used in the context of energy as a technology: energy resources, their consumption, development, depletion, and conservation. Biologically, bodies rely on food for energy in the same sense as industry relies on fuels to continue functioning. Since economic activities such as manufacturing and transportation can be energy intensive, energy efficiency, energy dependence, energy security and price are key concerns. Increased awareness of the effects of global warming has led to global debate and action for the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions; like many previous energy use patterns, it is changing not due to depletion or supply constraints but due to problems with waste, extraction, or geopolitical scenarios.
In the context of natural science, energy can take several different forms: thermal, chemical, electrical, radiant, nuclear, etc. These are often grouped as being either kinetic energy or potential energy. Many of these forms can be readily transformed into another with the help of a device - from chemical energy to electrical energy using a battery, for example. Most energy available for human use ultimately comes from the sun, which generates it with nuclear fusion. The enormous potential for fusion and other basic nuclear reactions is expressed by the famous equation E = mc2.
The concepts of energy and its transformations are useful in explaining natural processes on larger scales: Meteorological phenomena like wind, rain, lightning and tornadoes all result from energy transformations brought about by solar energy on the planet. Life itself is critically dependent on biological energy transformations; organic chemical bonds are constantly broken and made to make the exchange and transformation of energy possible. Read more...
is the increase in the average temperature
of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans
in recent decades and its projected continuation. Global average air temperature rose 0.74 ±
0.18 °C (1.3 ± 0.32 °F) during the past century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
concludes, 'most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to
the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas
The effects of global warming are expected to include sea level rise, floods, drought and changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Other effects may include changes in agricultural yields, reduced summer streamflows, species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors.
Concentrations of greenhouse gases are now considerably higher than at any time during the last 650,000 years, the extent of the ice core record. It is believed that CO2 concentrations were last this high 20 million years ago. The primary international agreement on combating global warming is the Kyoto Protocol, which covers more than 160 countries and over 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The United States, the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter; Australia; and Kazakhstan have refused to ratify the treaty. China and India, two other large emitters, have ratified the treaty but are exempt from cutting emissions. International talks on a successor to the treaty, which ends in 2012, have begun. Read more...
- Despite projections of producing four times as much power as it used in heating, the Riggatron fusion reactor was never built due to a lack of funding?
Thomas Alva Edison
(February 11, 1847 – October 18, 1931) was an American inventor
who developed many devices which greatly influenced life worldwide into the 21st century
. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park
" by a newspaper reporter, he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production
to the process of invention
, and can therefore be credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory
Edison invented the first commercially practical electric light bulb which, by 1879 would burn for hundreds of hours. He was able to sell the concept to homes and businesses by mass-producing them and creating a complete system for the generation and distribution of electricity.
Edison patented an electric distribution system in 1880, and in January 1882 he switched on the first steam generating power station at Holborn Viaduct in London, UK. The direct current (DC) supply system provided electricity supplies to street lamps and a number of private dwellings within a short distance of the station. The first investor-owned electric utility, Pearl Street Station, New York City, started generating on September 4, 1882, providing 110 volts direct current to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.
Life magazine (USA), in a special double issue, placed Edison first in the list of the "100 Most Important People in the Last 1000 Years," noting that the light bulb he promoted "lit up the world." He was ranked thirty-fifth on Michael H. Hart's list of the most influential figures in history. Read more...
- "For those who want some proof that physicists are human, the proof is in the idiocy of all the different units which they use for measuring energy." – Richard Feynman
- "The energy produced by breaking down the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformations of these atoms is taking moonshine." – Ernest Rutherford
- "If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match, you will understand the concept of amplification." – William Shockley
- "It is easier to split an atom than to break a prejudice." – Albert Einstein
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