Energy. What is it?

What is energy?

Most people will tell you energy is just the capacity a system has to do work. That’s a rather poor overall definition because for there to be work, something has to be doing it. The definition of capacity for work is a specific definition relating to mechanical energy. You won’t find that definition in any thermodynamics book. Most of them will tell you that work is a process of energy transfer. Few try to tackle the problem of what energy actually is, but rather define work differently.

In thermodynamics no work is being done as defined as: force exerted on something through a distance. This is the standard definition of work. But in thermodynamics heat energy flows from one place to another. No force is directly exerted. Some definitions of work tell us that energy is being transformed from one type to another.

So you see, the common mechanical definition that energy is the capacity to do work does not always strictly apply.

What do we mean when we ask what something is? What is a tree? We can describe a tree and what it does very effectively. But what is it? The word tree is a symbol encompassing a range of attributes, composition and behaviour. But you can always break the question down farther and keep asking: “But what is it really?” as if you are trying to get to a concrete definition which perfectly explains a tree.

But there is no such definition because in the end you come to find out it is a configuration of energy/mass at its root, as all things are.

So what is energy?

No one can give you more than a description of its behaviour and attributes. But if you want proof that energy is not an abstract idea, plug yourself in to wall socket. No don’t. The shock might kill you.

Until Einstein energy and matter were thought to be separate things. But when he discovered that famous equation E=mc squared that all changed. Energy and mass are the same thing.

In chemistry there are some processes which do exactly that in small quantities, and of course small amounts of matter (less than one percent) are converted to a great deal of energy in atom bombs. When you eat you are converting matter to energy as well.

Mass and energy are intimately related. All mass has energy. But not all energy has mass. That is important.

Now notice I have been saying mass instead of matter. Mass is the measure of how much matter is actually in an object. So in a sense we could say matter and mass are really the same thing. The trouble with using matter instead of mass in physics is that matter has a lot of different definitions in different fields of study. The word mass is just more precise and has a clearer definition.

Generally matter is anything that has mass and takes up space. Mass is measured on earth by weighing the object in question in kilograms. But it was defined by Newton as the quantity of inertia an object has. Inertia being the resistance an object has when being changed from standing still to moving or from moving to standing still.

However, mass is not weight. On the moon your weight changes but the amount of mass you contain does not. Confused yet? In any case, mass and matter are pretty well interchangeable terms for most of us.

But notice what I said above: All matter or mass has energy in it, but not all energy has mass. The most well known object that has no mass but is just energy, is light. The photon has no mass. One can hardly say that a photon is an abstract idea. Because of them you can read the words on this page.

Matter and energy are the same thing in different form in the same way ice, water, and water vapour are the same thing in different form: H2O. Matter is simply compressed or bonded energy. Matter contains vast amounts of potential energy. Again, to get an idea of how much, we use the equation E=mc squared. It turns out that the potential locked in a pencil could power a small city for perhaps a year if we could release all of it in a controlled way.

So energy is not just a property of matter or an abstract idea concerning work. Matter is a by-product of energy transformation.

"It was Planck's law of radiation that yielded the first exact determination - independent of other assumptions - of the absolute magnitudes of atoms. More than that, he showed convincingly that in addition to the atomistic structure of matter there is a kind of atomistic structure to energy, governed by the universal constant h, which was introduced by Planck." -Albert Einstein

What is energy? I could say how does it feel to be it? You are energy. There is nothing but energy/matter.

No one as yet can give a perfect definition of what energy actually is. But we know a lot about it, and every day science learns more. Isn’t the universe an amazing place?

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29 comments

LewSethics profile image

LewSethics 5 years ago

That was fun.

Scientists tell us that in the very beginning of creation the universe was made up of almost equal amounts of matter and antimatter and these quantities mutually annihilated leaving the tiny fraction of our (regular) matter left, which is what all matter of our universe is now made of.

My question is: What happened to all that energy generated by the mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter?


Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 5 years ago from Isle of Man

I enjoyed reading this interesting and very informative article. There is so much about the is world that we take for granted like energy without us ever really thinking about what it is. This article makes the reader think as do all of your articles and that is the magic of Slarty O'Brian! Thank you.

ps fifth paragraph from the end there is a typo and I thought perhaps you might consider including a few words about potential and kinetic energy.


Joyus Crynoid profile image

Joyus Crynoid 5 years ago from Eden

The universe is indeed an amazing place. And it all comes down to thermodynamics (energy flow): exergy into entropy gives rise to all of Creation. Good hub!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

lewsethics

Thanks for commenting. I recently read a hub about the missing antimatter. It is still a mystery, but some contend it still exists somewhere in this vast universe.

But your question may be does antimatter destroy matter? The answer is no. The total energy is conserved in the annihilation and produces new particles. So the total energy/mass remains the same. Most of what such contact produces is photons.

Both are interesting questions.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Hi Spirit Whisperer. Glad to see you again.

Thank you as always for your kind words. ;) I will take care of the typo you mentioned.

You are right. I did not go into great detail about the different types of energy. I may well expand the hub to include something on that. ;)


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

joyus crynoid

"energy into entropy gives rise to all of Creation."

You are absolutely correct. I recently did a hub on entropy be cause not enough people understand that it is not a theory of chaos, but really it is the engine of evolution. I think it is one of the most misunderstood theories in all of physics.

But you nailed it. Good going.;)


jomine 5 years ago

I don't know where to start, so lets start with the tree.

Nobody can define a tree, but there is one thing anybody can do, draw a tree/show the photograph of the tree.

Can you do that with either your energy or mass?

Light has no mass?? Good. Anything that moves has momentum, so what is the momentum of "light", if its mass is '0'?(momentum is mass*velocity)

What you eat is energy? No what you eat is food, which is digested into its components and absorbed from intestine and used to build body parts.

Oh! if you touch the socket, its energy that flows into you? When you touch it is the so called "electrons" that flows into your body, which changes the chemical composition of proteins, disrupts the normal electric pathway of cardiac circuit and cause 'heart attack' and death.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

You must be one of Bill's crew. lol... draw me a picture of wind. Sorry but Bills insistence people draw things for him is a little strange and a bit useless. But be that as it may.

Thanks for your comments. lol...


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Oh yes, and the correct equation for photons is E = pc or p = E/c


jomine 5 years ago

Wind, if I understand correctly, is the motion of air molecules, I'm not sure what it means in your part of the world. As "wind" is just the name, we gave, to the motion, it is a concept, so no photos(by the way, anything that exists in this world has a shape, hence can be drawn).

Em! E=pc; mc squared = pc, so 0=pc as m=o hence momentum is 0 or are you telling me photon has mass and still manage to move at the speed c?


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

“Wind, if I understand correctly, is the motion of air molecules, I'm not sure what it means in your part of the world. As "wind" is just the name, we gave, to the motion, it is a concept, so no photos(by the way, anything that exists in this world has a shape, hence can be drawn)”

A cloud of gas has a shape even if you can’t see it. It has a boundary albeit flexible. You are made of what could be considered a cloud of atoms and relatively speaking you consist of mostly empty space. What seems to have a very defined shape to you on this level of existence is far less defined on other levels. So yes, wind is the movement of molecules. So are you in a very real sense. Wind has a pattern like you do. We can find that pattern.

So yes I could draw you a representation of wind. I can draw a representation of you too. Probably not a very god one. Having people drawing things for you is meaningless. Your definition of the word exists is a little naive. It’s too simplistic. But then, so are most of Bill’s ideas as far as I am concerned. And this idea did not really originate as your idea at all, did it?

Reductionism is fine as long you don’t go too far. Bill seems to go too far consistently.

I see where your problem is with photons. The way to find energy of a photon is not mc squared. Energy and momentum of a photon depend on its frequency or wave length, not mass. E=hv where h is planks constant and v is frequency; or inversely E=hw.

Momentum is found by the equation I gave you p (magnitude of momentum) = E (energy) divided by c


jomine 5 years ago

You can draw a representation of wind. All matter that exist are made of atoms and we can draw it, but what about your energy?

Simplistic is the problem? You want everything to be complicated? There are objects in this universe and they interact and we are trying to find out the ways by which interact and for our convenience we put some concepts for easier explanation, but it won't make it real objects. A wave is a concept, but that concept help us explain about our "hearing" better, but that will not make "wave" a standalone object. They are just like "love" or "justice", concepts we made for the better functioning of society.

I agree, it is not entirely not my idea, but i had the idea which was refined with the help of Bills'.

Now about choosing the equations to suit your needs, I read brotheryochanan writing in one forum, that the "circular logic" will not apply if god is in question. So what difference you got, from him, when you argue that the equation will not give a satisfactory result, hence cannot be applied here and another equation is to be chosen?

If light has energy, then according to E=mc2, m=E/c2 and light got mass. Similarly if light got momentum p=mv hence again light got mass.

[Original formula is E2 = p2c2 + m2c4], so whatever you choose, you have to take mass in the equation.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

“You can draw a representation of wind. All matter that exist are made of atoms and we can draw it, but what about your energy?”

For that all I have to do is draw a picture of light.

“Simplistic is the problem? You want everything to be complicated?”

No. I want the facts. Like I said: simple or reductionist is fine as long as you don’t get too simple. I’ve been called a reductionist myself at times.

“There are objects in this universe and they interact and we are trying to find out the ways by which interact and for our convenience we put some concepts for easier explanation, but it won't make it real objects.”

True. Concepts can be just imagination. But others reflect reality.

“A wave is a concept, but that concept help us explain about our "hearing" better, but that will not make "wave" a standalone object. They are just like "love" or "justice", concepts we made for the better functioning of society.”

Again, concepts talk about real things as well as imaginary ones. Is a radio wave a concept or does it reflect a real phenomenon? We can measure wave length and frequency. Are those just concepts? Yes, a water wave describes movement of water. It is a concept, but it is not just a concept, it describes a real phenomenon, a real interaction. Cause and effect.

“I agree, it is not entirely not my idea, but i had the idea which was refined with the help of Bills'”

I’d know Bills work anywhere. Lol...

“Now about choosing the equations to suit your needs, I read brotheryochanan writing in one forum, that the "circular logic" will not apply if god is in question. So what difference you got, from him, when you argue that the equation will not give a satisfactory result, hence cannot be applied here and another equation is to be chosen?”

More of Bill’s nonsense. ;) A model must fit the facts. In fact that is the way models are built. They are built on facts in science. The fact is when we have tried to measure mass for a photon it is always zero. Electrons have very very small amounts of mass. They can reach close to light speed in a vacuum but never each it. Why? Because they have mass. What do you do when all attempt at finding the mass of a photon fail? Just say it has to be here because otherwise your world of just mass makes no sense to you? Who is having faith now?

Some scientist suggest it has mass but it is so small that it may as well be considered zero. But they have never yet been able to prove it. Light has another property. It travels at the same speed no matter how fast the observer is going. It travels at the same speed for all observers. When we say mass we are talking about rest mass. Photons cannot rest because they have no mass. All these factor and more brought us to this point. Photons and Gluons have no mass. Theoretically gravitons would have no mass if they exist. And there are others. Photons are packets of elecro-magnetic energy. They have a frequency, a wave length that can be measured.

Say a photon has an almost non-existent bit of mass. How does it explain the behaviour of light? If the mass is what does everything and energy is just a concept what makes the mass do anything at all?

Do you know how a standard photon is made? It is expelled from an electron when its energy level is forced to drop. What happens when an electron and positron hit each other? They turn in to photons, electro-magnetic waves.

But funny thing is, waves in a medium eventually dissipate. Photons don’t. Strange behaviour for just a concept.

There is one substance in this world which all things are made of: energy/mass. Now if there were no particles at all that were without mass then I would agree that it could be considered just work. But where would mass get this ability for movement from?

So energy is not just a concept. It is the base material of the universe. Compressed it causes matter.

I could talk about relativistic and virtual mass; but you will have to study math and the way science uses it. Clue: If a photon has no mass what is m2c4? As I said, a frequency is taken in place of mass. Works fine in experiments and makes the correct predictions. What more do you want?


jomine 5 years ago

“For that all I have to do is draw a picture of light.”

You can draw light because it exist. But can you draw heat? You can draw water, but can you draw current? You can represent wind, but can you draw wind? The term energy is ubiquitous, used for many (I can’t walk, I have no energy. Energy crisis) unrelated stuff, so it has no particular meaning.

“True. Concepts can be just imagination. But others reflect reality.”

Concepts are just concepts, relation between two objects which need some intelligent being to conceive. Hence they are called concepts.

“Again, concepts talk about real things as well as imaginary ones. Is a radio wave a concept or does it reflect a real phenomenon? We can measure wave length and frequency. Are those just concepts? Yes, a water wave describes movement of water. It is a concept, but it is not just a concept, it describes a real phenomenon, a real interaction. Cause and effect.”

A radio wave is just light with a different frequency. Interaction between objects, not objects.

“I could talk about relativistic and virtual mass; but you will have to study math and the way science uses it. Clue: If a photon has no mass what is m2c4? As I said, a frequency is taken in place of mass. Works fine in experiments and makes the correct predictions. What more do you want?”

No decide now. Whether photon has mass or not?

If it has mass, how does it travel at “c”?

If it does not, (E2 = p2c2 + m2c4 or E=mc2) it has no energy as well. Then how does it knock an electron out of its orbit? If it has energy by your formula it got mass.Its not me who is telling it has to have mass, but your relativistic formula.

Light speed is irrespective of observer? But who cares about the “observer”. Science is objective, irrespective of observer.

“Photons and Gluons have no mass.”

“Clue: If a photon has no mass what is m2c4?”

Heard about contradiction?

“Photons are packets of elecro-magnetic energy”

Since you are bent on saying packets of electro magnetic waves, kindly draw one for me, a link to an image will do. If you are going to draw a sine wave of maths you will have to do a lot of expalaining.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Clearly you need to do more study in physics. You are not understanding the concepts and just parroting Bill's nonsense.

If he wants to debate me then he should do so.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

“For that all I have to do is draw a picture of light.”

>You can draw light because it exist. But can you draw heat? You can draw water, but can you draw current? You can represent wind, but can you draw >wind? The term energy is ubiquitous, used for many (I can’t walk, I have no energy. Energy crisis) unrelated stuff, so it has no particular meaning.

Another one of Bills clones who doesn’t understand context. Many meanings do not mean no meaning. Leave drawing pictures to art class.

“True. Concepts can be just imagination. But others reflect reality.”

“Concepts are just concepts, relation between two objects which need some intelligent being to conceive. Hence they are called concepts”

Relationships exist even without an intelligent being to observe them. What is concepts are just concepts supposed to mean?

“A radio wave is just light with a different frequency. Interaction between objects, not objects.”

Between what objects? Don’t tell me you have fallen for Bills rope theory. Lol.. when he figures out how they don’t tangle up let me know. What a laugh.

“I could talk about relativistic and virtual mass; but you will have to study math and the way science uses it. Clue: If a photon has no mass what is m2c4? As I said, a frequency is taken in place of mass. Works fine in experiments and makes the correct predictions. What more do you want?”

“No decide now. Whether photon has mass or not?”

Decide now? WTF? I already told you, no mass. Are you not reading? Don’t try Bills tactics on me.

“If it does not, (E2 = p2c2 + m2c4 or E=mc2) it has no energy as well.

I have explained this to you. You don’t understand so do more study.

“ Then how does it knock an electron out of its orbit? If it has energy by your formula it got mass.Its not me who is telling it has to have mass, but your relativistic formula.”

Where do you get the idea that it knocks electrons out of orbit? Again, do more study.

“Light speed is irrespective of observer? But who cares about the “observer”. Science is objective, irrespective of observer.”

It isn’t the observer that matters, it’s the facts that matter.

“Clue: If a photon has no mass what is m2c4?”

“Heard about contradiction?”

Heard about mathematician liking to put in the entire equation even if part of it is redundant, and then simplifying it? There is no contradiction, just lack of understanding of the concepts on your part.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

I just realized what you meant by a photon knocks an electron out of orbit. It doesn't. But what happens is that if a photon hits an atom it excites the entire atom, not only and not initially the electron. The electron moves up an obit because the atom has an increase in energy and passes it along.


jomine 5 years ago

"I just realized what you meant by a photon knocks an electron out "

The photoelectric effect!!! Who needs more study?


jomine 5 years ago

“Another one of Bills clones who doesn’t understand context. Many meanings do not mean no meaning. Leave drawing pictures to art class.”

It is not about drawing picture, its about visualizing. Anything that exists, any person, will be able to visualize the shape; otherwise it is a nonexistent concept. Love exist, heat exist, chair exist. What is difference of “exist” in these? If all the “exist” carry different meaning, what is the point in saying all exist. Good for poetry and prose, I whole heartedly agree, but not for science. In science all crucial terms are defined before the dissertation, not left to the audience to make a meaning from the context, that is the job of James Joyce!

“True. Concepts can be just imagination. But others reflect reality.”

“Relationships exist even without an intelligent being to observe them. What is concepts are just concepts supposed to mean?”

A concept is conceived by an intelligent being. It has no reality except in the mind of the one who conceives. There is no PHYSICAL existence for a concept. A being is needed to make a meaning out of the relation. Waves, vibration are all motion and for nature it is just motion. Its for a human, one is vibration and another is wave!

“A radio wave is just light with a different frequency. Interaction between objects, not objects.”

Between what objects? Don’t tell me you have fallen for Bills rope theory. Lol.. when he figures out how they don’t tangle up let me know. What a laugh.

I was responding to this “It is a concept, but it is not just a concept, it describes a real phenomenon, a real interaction. Cause and effect.”, not any rope or whatever.

A concept, again, is JUST a Concept. It describes the interaction between two objects, not an object. Hope you have heard the term “reification”. It is a concept, but it is not a concept..What a laugh!!

Decide now? WTF? I already told you, no mass.

Sure no mass, yet you tell me E=mc2. How can you make the m -0, by altering the value of E with other than with ‘0’?(c is constant) You tell me we can use another formula, does that mean this formula is wrong? You cannot simply decide to drop one because it doesn’t suit you.

"It isn’t the observer that matters; it’s the facts that matter."

Yet you tell me light speed is irrespective of the observer. Why bring that argument then? Does that mean all other speed is depended on the observer?

“Heard about mathematician liking to put in the entire equation even if part of it is redundant, and then simplifying it? There is no contradiction, just lack of understanding of the concepts on your part.”

Au contraire, you have a definite lack of kindergarten basics.

You have written a whole hub just to say energy is not just the ability to do work, but “something more than that”, though you do not know what that something is, but go on harping something like energy is matter, matter is energy, yet they are different, no wait, matter is condensed energy.

How the ‘ability’ can be condensed to matter?

How can you convert “potential” or “kinetic” energy to matter?

By taking an object of the ground, you can “increase” the “potential” energy(=mgh), but neither the number of atoms nor the weight increases, then what does increase?

" Isn’t the universe an amazing place?"

Certainly, now we only have to assign a meaning and purpose to it!!


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Everyone can use more study. Particularly in figuring out what other people are trying to say when they describe a process badly.

Bill teaches people that science tells us that a photon hits an electron much like one ball would hit another and thus dislodges it from the atom or “knocks it out of orbit.”

This is blatantly inaccurate and comes from bill being an engineer, not a physicist. All of his hypothesis seem to be based from that fact.

Never the less, the photoelectric effect doesn’t work like that. Again, when a photon hits an atom the energy increase is passed on to the electrons. If an electron absorbs the energy of a photon and if its own energy is high enough, the bond between the electron and the nucleus of the atom is broken and the electron is free. In essence we could say due to the laws of conservation that it is ejected from the atom because the atom always tends toward its lowest possible energy levels.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

"It is not about drawing picture, its about visualizing. Anything that exists, any person, will be able to visualize the shape; otherwise it is a nonexistent concept. Love exist, heat exist, chair exist. What is difference of “exist” in these? If all the “exist” carry different meaning, what is the point in saying all exist. Good for poetry and prose, I whole heartedly agree, but not for science. In science all crucial terms are defined before the dissertation, not left to the audience to make a meaning from the context, that is the job of James Joyce!"

LOL... Concepts exist as concepts, packets of information in a particular pattern in your brain. They can be passed on. Ever heard of memes? Of course the concept is not the object or behaviour you are talking about, it is a representation of a behaviour or object or whatever. Drawing pictures is the same thing. You put a representation of a concept or an object or behaviour on paper. If you draw a tree you are usually drawing a symbol of a tree, not a real tree.

Science deals a lot in models constructed from observations. Who else but the scientist and the audience make meaning out of those observations? All scientific interpretations are contextual.

As for terms always being well defined between science and the general public, that's just not the case. For instance Hawking and others have been known to say that the universe may have come from nothing. But they don't mean nothing, they mean quantum fluctuation. Something from potential energy which permeates so called empty space. Hardly nothing.

Empty space is just a term scientists use to mean apparent empty space. Yet they know space is not empty at all, it is teaming with quantum activity.

Every profession has its terms and ways of using those terms. The average person can and does get confused by this. That's why study is needed. You can't attack science until you know the science.

Yes it would be nice if we had different words for every context but we do not and don't need to. All we need to know is the context to get the meaning. But to get the context we need to know the subject we are discussing.

“Relationships exist even without an intelligent being to observe them. What is concepts are just concepts supposed to mean?”

"A concept is conceived by an intelligent being. It has no reality except in the mind of the one who conceives. There is no PHYSICAL existence for a concept. A being is needed to make a meaning out of the relation. Waves, vibration are all motion and for nature it is just motion. Its for a human, one is vibration and another is wave!"

An intelligent being makes meaning out of objects too. Nature has no opinion. For nature it isn't anything unless you are postulating a consciousness in nature. See, but I know the context you saying this in so I know you are not implying that nature is conscious. See how wonderful context is? lol...

"I was responding to this “It is a concept, but it is not just a concept, it describes a real phenomenon, a real interaction. Cause and effect.”, not any rope or whatever."

"A concept, again, is JUST a Concept. It describes the interaction between two objects, not an object. Hope you have heard the term “reification”. It is a concept, but it is not a concept..What a laugh!!"

I did not say it was but it was not. I said it was but that is not all it is. Again you fail to read or comprehend and then spew more of Bills nonsense at me. It must be hard for you to understand that something can be many things and that being one thing does not negate it also being another. Things often have more than one property. But a reductionist like Bill wants everything to be one thing and one thing only. It's too confusing for him to wade through context and the like. lol... For your information the word reification has many meanings as well depending on context. Which meaning are you using? No, let me guess. lol...

"Sure no mass, yet you tell me E=mc2. How can you make the m -0, by altering the value of E with other than with ‘0’?(c is constant) You tell me we can use another formula, does that mean this formula is wrong? You cannot simply decide to drop one because it doesn’t suit you."

No, genius. I suppose you want the formula for soap and bacon sandwiches to be the same or it confuses you. lol...

Let me explain this to you in simple terms. E=mc squared is how you find the energy content in a material. But lest you be confused later on it also tells us many other things as well.

To find the energy of a photon you use a different formula because it has no mass. Is that simple enough for you? Ever heard of Plank's constant? Study up on it.

"It isn’t the observer that matters; it’s the facts that matter."

"Yet you tell me light speed is irrespective of the observer. Why bring that argument then? Does that mean all other speed is depended on the observer?"

No. I'm sorry I don't have time to teach you relativity. But let’s say you shoot a bullet from a moving car and the car can travel as fast as the bullet. The bullet would fly beside you. Or if the car travels slower the bullet moves away from you at it's own speed minus yours. But if you are traveling in a space ship and shoot light out of the space ship it will speed away from you at c even were you to travel at half the speed of light. It would not be traveling away from at its speed minus yours. Isn't that odd behaviour?

“Heard about mathematician liking to put in the entire equation even if part of it is redundant, and then simplifying it? There is no contradiction, just lack of understanding of the concepts on your part.”

"Au contraire, you have a definite lack of kindergarten basics."

More of Bill's speech patterns. You should pay him for using his phrases. If he is smart he will copyright them. lol...

“You have written a whole hub just to say energy is not just the ability to do work, but “something more than that”, though you do not know what that something is, but go on harping something like energy is matter, matter is energy, yet they are different, no wait, matter is condensed energy."

It is funny but when I heard that photons had no mass I asked myself, what can it be if it has no matter? Knowing E=mc squared I concluded it must mean energy is not just work. I was surprised when I studied it and found that Einstein agreed with me, so I will let him give you a little history lesson:

"It was Planck's law of radiation that yielded the first exact determination - independent of other assumptions - of the absolute magnitudes of atoms. More than that, he showed convincingly that in addition to the atomistic structure of matter there is a kind of atomistic structure to energy, governed by the universal constant h, which was introduced by Planck." -Albert Einstein

"How the ‘ability’ can be condensed to matter?"

It can't. Which is why energy is not just ability. Plank showed it to be so and it has been proven many times.

"How can you convert “potential” or “kinetic” energy to matter?"

It is done all the time in accelerators when they collide an electron with a positron. The kinetic energy is converted in to new particles. Next Question?


jomine 5 years ago

“Everyone can use more study.”

Certainly, in your case start with the basics. I don’t think studying nonsense/religion is of any use, as I don’t intent to make a profession out of it.

” it is ejected from the atom”

Whether it is knocked out, kicked out, ejected or freed, it is still an electron emitted from an atom when a “photon” strikes it. Whether an atom is excited or the electron is excited, is only a matter of speculation, as nobody alive has seen an atom, much less an electron.

And I’m not interested in knowing neither what his profession is, nor yours and I don’t care much about Bill's or your or Einstein’s or The Popes’ theories if it is irrational, that is, not plausible.

“They can be passed on. Ever heard of memes?”

I didn’t know memes are taken out from ones brain and injected to another. I was thinking, it is through the aides of sounds/words it is passed.

” If you draw a tree you are usually drawing a symbol of a tree,”

Of course, even the photograph of a tree is not tree, but what it shows is the shape of the object in question and only something that exists got shape. No concepts have shape. You cannot draw love or time or justice or heat owing to the simple reason that they are all concepts.

“Science deals a lot in models constructed from observations”

Science deals with objects and makes models to study. Observations of science are objective, not subjective. Those observations are irrespective of the observer. Say Sun exists, it exists whether you are there to appreciate it or not.

“Every profession has its terms and ways of using those terms”

Every profession has proper use of words.

“It must be hard for you to understand that something can be many things and that being one thing does not negate it also being another. Things often have more than one property”

Of course “things” have so many properties. Only things have properties, not concepts.

“To find the energy of a photon you use a different formula because it has no mass”

No, if there is a formula for energy, you should be able to use it everywhere, not drop it because it gives certain unpalatable results. If light got energy, by the formula, it has mass too. Or it is like “circular logic is applicable when god is there” argument.

“I'm sorry I don't have time to teach you relativity”

Neither am I interested in studying nonsense.

"But if you are traveling in a space ship and shoot light"

It is not odd, for two reasons. First speed is distance traveled by time. If you take standard distance and standard time, unless acted by external force, all speed is constant.

Second, light is a wave, like sound. The light is not on the space ship to get the thrust of the spaceship, unlike an object that is thrown from the spaceship.

“when they collide an electron with a positron.”

When they collide, as you claim, it is two particles that collide, not energy.

Now I don’t know whether you will understand it or not, but will give you an example

Heat(energy).

Heat is the motion of molecules in matter. When you ‘heat’ an object, its molecules start to vibrate faster. The more the vibrations, you say the heat is more. When all the vibrations stop you call it ‘0’ temperature. If you put a thermometer, some vibration is transferred to the mercury and it expands or contract and that is plotted to the thermometer, and we get a reading called “temperature". It is when all motion stops we call absolute zero. But that will not give a working definition, hence we say at absolute zero all motion stops, but then we get exceptions like helium. Where is the “heat” in that? But if we touch it with our hand, the vibrations are transmitted to our hand, which we make out as heat. Without “US” there is no heat, only vibrations. So in nature there is only matter and that matter is in eternal motion.

Forgot to add, What we call space is “absence of everything” or “nothing”, the vast expense that has no borders or limits. When you say space has quantum fluctuations, you are in effect saying, nothing fluctuates. Of course, you can redefine space to mean something, thin you have to give a name for what was previously space or have to tell what is that which is nothing and gives shape to objects!!

Adieu


jomine 5 years ago

And Merriam-webster and Encarta and Oxford dictionary define reify similar, with only one meaning: to regard (something abstract) as a material or concrete thing[treat concept as object]


Kirui 5 years ago

Starty,

"Energy is the capacity to do work" was supposed to help us relate seemingly seperate phenomenons such as heat and the very motion. Realising that a hot object can move things as in steam led physicists to ASSUME that heat is a form of energy. By so doing, they merely mean that a hot object can do work. The same aplies to light. Since shining an object eventually result in motion is the ONLY reason why physicists say light is a form of energy. The kinetic theory of heat, as Jommine explains, is a theory to explain. UNDERSTANDABLY, how a hot object can exert a force. It turns out that he is explaining it in terms of mechanics which is good as you say is reductionism and does help us understand.

The thing which you both seem to miss is THEORY. It should be born in mind that we don't yet have a theory that EXPLAIN (not describe) EXACTLY how a hot object or light exerts a force. We only know THAT they do so. The problem is tied to the inability to EXPLAIN non contact forces at least not in mainstream physics. You said well, in science, we are still learning so understand some people. Jommine demands an EXPLANATION which he can understand and nothing is wrong with that as it is even the ultimate goal. All you need to do is ADMITTE the fact that no one yet fully understand these things


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

jomine

Seems you do not want to understand the basic premise of science. you want to live in a Newtonian world where everything is simple. Sorry, it isn't. You can't reduce the World of the atom to Newtonian laws.

You keep harping on objects having shape. Sure they do here on this level of existence. But because we are all made of atoms this view of the world is relative only to this layer of existence.

The illusion is that all objects are solid. Seen from the view of the atom they would not appear that way. Atoms are mostly empty space. What shape does your object have then? Same as what you see in front of you now? No. You see or perceive objects through a very limited sensor array. What you see is a persistent illusion created by your brain.

Yes, that perception correlates with reality relative to this level of existence, but it is not the whole of reality.

"I didn’t know memes are taken out from ones brain and injected to another. I was thinking, it is through the aides of sounds/words it is passed."

I said they are patterns that do exist physically in your brain. You should like that otherwise thought is nothing. lol... You know what I mean and are deliberately being absurd.

You asked why if a photon hits an electron does it knock it out of orbit it if it is not mass? I explained that it does not and explained how science views it. It does not hit it like one ball hits another. I explained that the electron absorbs the photon and that increase of energy frees it from the bond with the nucleus. Then you say

"Whether it is knocked out, kicked out, ejected or freed, it is still an electron emitted from an atom when a “photon” strikes it."

I see you are not seriously discussing this because you have an agenda, you have a faith which you won't let go of in the face of facts. If you think the two separate processes we are discussing are the same you really are in trouble. You need not only need to learn context, you need to learn to make distinctions. Otherwise you are never going to get anywhere.

Your idea of drawing everything is nonsense. You can draw symbols for anything even imaginary things. So stop with the kindergarden finger painting Bill has you doing.

"No, if there is a formula for energy, you should be able to use it everywhere,"

You use one formula to find the energy in a mass, and the other to measure energy itself. You use one formula to find the water in a mass, and another to find a volume of pure water. You have to be able to discern differences or you are lost.

"Every profession has proper use of words."

What is a nipple? Now what is it when you use it in plumbing? Every trade and every profession uses words in specific way which do not mean the same thing for the person who is not in the profession. That is called context. Obviously a concept you don't gork. lol..

"Science deals with objects and makes models to study."

As well as concepts and interpretations. As usual you are too reductionist.

"Neither am I interested in studying nonsense."

I see. Well in that case it is clear to me you have no way of discussing this and wish to remain ignorant about a subject you want to debate. Never a good starting point.

If you are going to debate relativity and modern physics it is always a good idea to find out what it is first or you look like a fool trying to debate it. Sorry to have to be so blunt.

I see no way to discuss this with you any farther.

Adieu


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Kirui

Not only will I admit that no one fully understands these things, I will tell you up front that I personally have no belief concerning this subject one way or the other, only opinions based on the facts. Those opinions are models.

Models have facts in them but they may not explain the full story or even be very accurate at all. If I find the model I now consider to be on the right track to be nonsense I will gladly shed it in a minute.

My problem is not with Jomine's desire to have absolute answers now. He simply can't and that is not my fault or his. My problem is with Bill Gaede who seems to have converted a bunch of people to his reductionist view of the world with the promise of a perfectly defined science where every word means only one thing and context is thrown out the window. His view is appealing to those who want a quick answer right now, just as religion is.

Of course neither Bill nor religion is the answer at all.

My problem is with anyone who decides to debate a topic like physics or even religion/atheism without knowing their topic and being proud that they don't know their topic.

Bill seems to make this attitude cool and it simply isn't. It is willful ignorance. He also has a pattern of speech all of his followers parrot. They no longer use their own words. He has effectively created a small cult on hubpages,

When I first came here I wondered where all these people were getting the same speech patterns from, all ignorant of modern physics with a passionate hate for it. When I questioned a few of them I was led to Bill. That explained it.

So I have not been debating Jomine. I have been debating Bill by proxy.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Kirui

Just a few more thoughts. I find that since it is impossible to get all the answers right now, a better way to go about life is with is to lack belief in anything. There is no need for belief. Facts are facts and don't require one to believe in them. The rest is speculation.

I see no need to believe anything speculative.

While as you say, wanting ultimate answers now is valid, it is not useful. I am perfectly happy to wait and see.

The reason I wrote this hub is because it is my opinion that seeing the facts I can not conclude that energy is just work. In the quote I gave Einstein said that Plank's constant shows a structure for energy. That and the fact that we can no mass in a photon as yet, it seems reasonable to me that if all the observations are correct, energy would be the default and mass a byproduct, rather than the other way around.

That is what current science points to. Now if current science is wrong, I will accept that and move on. But in my opinion at this point, it is the best model we currently have, meaning it fits the facts in ways other models do not.

I am certainly not saying anyone should have faith that it is the truth. I am just reporting the consequences of the model as it stands.


Kirui 5 years ago

Starty,

When you say energy is not just work, then you said it well. Infact that is what I once posted. I wrote to someone

"perharps you think that energy is some invisible sabstance that drive everything around. This makes perfect sense but then you should nolonger use the orthodox definition of energy as 'the ability to do work' as this latter implies that energy is just an abstract concept"

look at it in Jomine's thread of several mounths ago entitled; 'does energy exist?'

Your point is valid even in Jomine and Bill's school of thought for you demanded a redefinition of the term 'energy' such that it no longer referr to an abstract concept but to a standalone entity out there in reality. Jomine should have notice this! That it is just a play of words! Still your point is valid even aplied to photon for certainly a real entity out there and not just an abstract concept must mediate the light source and its target (and even the poles of a magnet or between charged object). Exactly what it is is the mountain we all are to climbe. You and perharps Einstein chose to call it energy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that as long as you insist that you are riferring to a real entity and not define it as an abstract and perharps mathematical concept.

Personaly I have no problem with a concept such as existent metaphysical ether(without shape) as far as logical posibility is concern though i agree with Bill's assertion that existent, static standalone things and concepts about their interelations, such as the 'ability' definition of energy should be treated with much care not to confuse them than it seem to be done in mainstream physics if we need to understand reality.


Slarty O'Brian profile image

Slarty O'Brian 5 years ago from Canada Author

Kirui

There is nothing here I can say I disagree with. I agree that the current model of energy as work is flawed, which is why the hub was written.

I think the work definition explains what energy does, not what it is. So I don't think we need a new name for it.

I also agree that really Bill and I are not saying very fundamentally different things on some levels. However his approach seems to lead his followers in a most unfortunate direction whether he intends that or not.

The one thing that drew me to read all his hubs was in the hope that he was on to something with his rope hypothesis. However he does not explain the fundamental problems it inherently has. Two of those problems are: How do they not tangle up if they are material ropes? And how does he explain how polarization works? So far as I can see,if his hypothesis is true it wouldn't.

He tells me he can not post an explanation because it would be too long, thereby implying I have to buy the book to find out. Unless he does proper peer review his hypothesis won't go far even if he has something. His attitude toward main stream science inhibits him greatly.

I will wait and see. Being a materialist by nature I would like nothing more than to find a simpler solution to the way we think of physics. But this does not as yet seem to be it.

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