Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
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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.

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Introduction

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Energy is a property of objects and systems of objects to act against a force (to do work), explored in branches of physics such as thermodynamics. Popularly the term is most often used in the context of energy as a public 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.

First, somehow there is a movement. There happened to be a burst of motion first. Motion implies and embraces energy, includes energy in itself. That first movement is a systematic one. The energy is the “ability of that system to perform work.” After that first movement we have the energy to play with. The universe is the result of the work systematically performed by that burst of motion. Motion can be transferred, transformed and converted into different forms. Whenever we see or sense a work done that means a visible energy. From here on radiation of energy, electromagnetic radiation and so on is easy to follow.

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 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...


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Selected article

Shell's experimental in-situ oil shale facility, Piceance Basin, Colorado
Shale oil extraction is an industrial process for unconventional oil production. This process converts kerogen in oil shale into shale oil by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution. The resultant shale oil is used as fuel oil or upgraded to meet refinery feedstock specifications by adding hydrogen and removing sulfur and nitrogen impurities. Shale oil extraction is usually performed above ground (ex situ processing) by mining the oil shale and then treating it in processing facilities. Other modern technologies perform the processing underground (on-site or in situ processing) by applying heat and extracting the oil via oil wells. The earliest description of the process dates to the 10th century. The industry shrank in the mid-20th century following the discovery of large reserves of conventional oil, but high petroleum prices at the beginning of the 21st century have led to renewed interest. As of 2010, major long-standing extraction industries are operating in Estonia, Brazil, and China. Its economic viability varies with the ratio of local energy input costs to energy output value. National energy security issues have also played a role in its development. Critics of shale oil extraction pose questions about environmental management issues, such as waste disposal, extensive water use and waste water management, and air pollution. Read more...

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Selected picture

Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg

Photo credit: United States Department of Energy
The fireball created as energy is released in a nuclear explosion.


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Did you know?

  • Despite declines in production in recent years, Victoria still produces almost 20% of Australia's crude oil?
  • 4.26 million tonnes of the sun are converted to energy every second by nuclear fusion?

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Selected biography

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William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, OM, GCVO, PC, PRS, FRSE, (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907), widely known for developing the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature measurement, was a mathematical physicist, engineer, and outstanding leader in the physical sciences of the 19th century. He did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form.

Born in Ireland, Thomson studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. On graduating, he became a mathematics teacher at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. During his life Thomson published more than 600 scientific papers and filed over 70 patents.

As early as 1845 Thomson pointed out that the experimental results of William Snow Harris were in accordance with the laws of Coulomb. Over the period 1855 to 1867, Thomson collaborated with Peter Guthrie Tait the Treatise on Natural Philosophy that unified the various branches of physical science under the common principle of energy. His inventions included the current balance for the precise specification of the ampere, the standard unit of electric current.

In 1893, Thomson headed an international commission to decide on the design of the Niagara Falls power station. Despite his previous belief in the superiority of direct current electric power transmission, he agreed to use alternating current after seeing a Westinghouse demonstration at the Chicago World's Fair. Read more...


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