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Taught anywhere[edit]

Is this taught anywhere? Ecology classes? — Omegatron 03:44, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Apparently in the branch of ecology known as Systems ecology Sholto Maud 04:51, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
My consensus is that "energetics" is essentially a 19th century theory, which as now been supplanted by thermodynamics; in 1891, for example, German by chemist Wilhelm Ostwald called Gibbs the "founder of chemical energetics". Of course, now he is known as the founder of chemical thermodynamics, but this transition did not occur until after 1923, approximately.
The name "energetics", however, is still used in some "beginner" type books, who end up invariably mixing the two words together, e.g. Nicholls and Ferguson's 1982 Bioenergetics, which is sort of a chemical thermodynamic, i.e. Gibbs free energy, analysis of proton electrochemical gradients across membranes. Also, as compared to Energetics - Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 ed., this Wiki article seems to over-focused on the ecological views of a few authors, namely Odum. The article will probably need a huge NPOV re-write down the road. --Sadi Carnot 15:54, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Sounds good. I think Lehninger has a chapter on energetics in his 'Biochemistry'. There are also others who look at 'Human Energetics': Human Energetics in Biological Anthropology (Cambridge Studies in Biological & Evolutionary Anthropology) (Hardcover) by S.J. Ulijaszek (Author), C. G. Nicholas Mascie-Taylor (Editor), R.A. Foley (Editor), Nina G. Jablonski (Editor), Karen B. Strier (Editor), Michael Little (Editor), Kenneth M. Weiss (Editor) "The use of energetics in biological anthropology began with the ecosystemic approach but has been used in less holistic ways to examine processes of human..." (more) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sholto Maud (talkcontribs) 00:10, 15 February 2007 (UTC). Sholto Maud 00:10, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Another interesting take on energetics is given by Robert John Deltete: The energetics controversy in late nineteenth-century Germany : Helm, Ostwald and their critics. Sholto Maud 00:15, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
There is a blog showing one heat engine, Ammonia-Butane compression engine basead on Energetics at ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Thermoenergetics (talkcontribs) 13:57, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
No login at all here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

If I am not mistaken, Buckminster Fuller speaks about energetics a fair amount. He is certainly not speaking about the 19th century usage of the term, but instead trying to address something that has a wider scope than simply thermodynamics. My understanding of his usage is perhaps best described as anthropocentric or technological thermodynamics, or thermodynamics on the human scale rather than quantum or cosmological scales. (talk) 20:42, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I have been using energetics as a generalization of thermodynamics because thermodynamics does not seem sufficient for every energy-related concept I use. It hurts me to see that this article just restates the most basic thermodynamics when I feel it could be so much more. For what it is worth, here are my set of fundamental axioms:
  • There exists a quantity named energy. It is a property of the system and it may have many different forms.
  • The total energy of the system is the additive energy of all the energy forms.
  • Some forms of energy are themselves additive and may be distributed within the subsystems as properties of the subsystems.
  • The additive forms of energy can appear to be conserved separately on a short time scale, but all energy may change form.
  • The energies associated with subsystems tend to transform into energy associated only with the system, because energy associated only with the system cannot be distributed back into the subsystems.
I apologize if these are written poorly or completely misplaced. They include the basic concepts of existance, conservation, transformation, and tendency. The study of energetics attempts to classify all forms of energy, find out where they are stored, elucidate how they are transformed, and determine what mathematical expressions describes them most satisfactorily. ChemGamer (talk) 12:43, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
These are a few direct consequences of the axioms above.
  • Any energy form that do not participate in transformations, is conserved and is adequately described by first order additive conservation equations. Typical examples are mass, charge, and momentum.
  • Energy forms that are associated with subsystems have at least one extensive variable.
ChemGamer (talk) 13:01, 22 July 2008 (UTC)


I added the NPOV tag because significant modern criticisms of this entire field are not reported in the article. See Talk:Emergy#Neutrality. Flying Jazz (talk) 16:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I removed it because that is not a criteria for putting on the tag. The information here is sourced, but yes it needs citations or refs. skip sievert (talk) 03:56, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with File:Howard T Odum.jpg[edit]

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I find this article very confusing. The intro starts out by labeling energetics a pseudoscience, but never clearly defends this statement, and then goes on to say that it encompasses several clearly non-pseudoscientific disciplines such as chemistry, and that it can even be synonymous with thermodynamics. This article does not clearly define what energetics actually is, perhaps because there is no accepted definition and it is not a true field of study. Any thoughts? If anyone out there can clearly define energetics, you should take a crack at re-writing the lead. MYCETEAE - talk 05:30, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree. I wouldn't say that this was pseudoscience at all, but application of thermodynamic techniques to much larger systems. Gizmoguy (talk) 22:45, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Law Vs Theory[edit]

Perhaps the question I'm about to raise is better suited to the "fundamental law" wiki page, however since a phrase appears here, and in unique form, I feel it's acceptable to address the issue.

My concern is the phrase "Like in all science, whether or not a theorem or principle is considered a fundamental law appears to depend on how many people agree to such a proposition." ( in the "Aims" section). Not only does this include weasel words, in this case "appears", but it misses the actual difference between a theory and a law in science. First the weasel words. In science we use peer review, so whether or not something is accepted never "appears" to depend on the consensus, it DOES depend on the review and consensus of peers. Second, a law has the same validity, carries the same scientific & social importance/weight as a theory. The true distinction lies in that laws are theories which are modeled mathematically. Note that the "sufficiency" implied in the original quoted statement can apply to either a law, or a theory, and as such, is not the distinguishing factor in their distinction. I agree with previous Talk comments that think this article needs to be completely rewritten, and hope this particular little sentence gets proper treatment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joeyjoseph (talkcontribs) 16:50, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The important word in the quote is not "law"; it's "fundamental". When does a scientific theory stop being considered ad hoc, empirical, approximate, etc. and get accepted as fundamental? It does not have anything to do with how many people support it. It's about how much reliable evidence the supporters discover.

Of course, pseudoscience has different criteria, and this article does seem to be talking about a pseudoscience, despite that word having been removed. (talk) 10:46, 28 January 2014 (UTC) Collin237

What is Villamil talking about?![edit]

Energy is not a scalar. It's the time component of a vector, and momentum is the space component. The conservation laws of energy and momentum are part of the same law. This is very basic relativity, and has been known for over a hundred years. In all that time, has nobody notable criticized Villamil's putative distinction between them? (talk) 10:58, 28 January 2014 (UTC) Collin237

I am sure Villamil had had one drink too many when he came up with those theories, and whoever added the material, was in a similar condition. Also material from Odum is a fan club brochure. The page is mostly non-science. A tensor a day... (talk) 12:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)