Portal:Energy/Intro

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Susquehanna steam electric station.jpg

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...