From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the scalar physical quantity.

Lightning is the electric breakdown of air by strong electric fields and is a flow of energy. The electric potential energy in the atmosphere changes into thermal kinetic energy, light, and sound, which are other forms of energy. - energeia, "activity, operation", from In physics, energy (from Greek energos, "active, working"[1]) is a quantity that is often understood as the ability to perform work. This quantity can be assigned to any particle, object, or system of objects as a consequence of its physical state. Different forms of energy include kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound, elastic and electromagnetic energy. The forms of energy are often named after a related force. German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz established that all forms of energy are equivalent ² energy in one form can disappear but the same amount of energy will appear in another form.[2] A restatement of this idea is that energy is subject to a conservation law over time. Any form of energy can be transformed into another form. When energy is in a form other than thermal energy, it may be transformed with good or even perfect efficiency, to any other type of energy. With thermal energy, however, there are often limits to the efficiency of the conversion to other forms of energy, due to the second law of thermodynamics. As an example, when oil reacts with oxygen, potential energy is released, since new chemical bonds are formed in the products which are more stable than those in the oil and oxygen. The released energy resulting from this process may be converted directly to electricity (as in a fuel cell) with good efficiency. Alternately it may be converted into thermal energy if the oil is simply burned. In the latter case, however, some of the thermal energy can no longer be used to perform work at that temperature, and is said to be "degraded." As such, it exists in a form unavailable for further transformation. The remainder of the thermal energy may be used to produce any other type of energy, such as electricity. In all such energy transformation processes, the total energy remains the same. Energy may not be created nor destroyed. This principle, the conservation of energy, was first postulated in the

early 19th century, and applies to any isolated system. According to Noether's theorem, the conservation of energy is a consequence of the fact that the laws of physics do not change over time.[3] Although the total energy of a system does not change with time, its value may depend on the frame of reference. For example, a seated passenger in a moving airplane has zero kinetic energy relative to the airplane, but non-zero kinetic energy (and higher total energy) relative to the Earth. Energy is a scalar physical quantity. In the International System of Units (SI), energy is measured in joules, but in some fields other units such as kilowatt-hours and kilocalories are also used.

Main articles: History of energy and timeline of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, and random processes (energeia), which possibly appears for the first The word energy derives from Greek [4] time in the work Nicomachean Ethics of Aristotle in the 4th century BC. The concept of energy emerged out of the idea of vis viva, which Leibniz defined as the product of the mass of an object and its velocity squared; he believed that total vis viva was conserved. To account for slowing due to friction, Leibniz theorized that thermal energy consisted of the random motion of the constituent parts of matter, a view shared by Isaac Newton, although it would be more than a century until this was generally accepted. In 1807, Thomas Young was possibly the first to use the term "energy" instead of vis viva, in its modern sense.[5] GustaveGaspard Coriolis described "kinetic energy" in 1829 in its modern sense, and in 1853, William Rankine coined the term "potential energy". It was argued for some years whether energy was a substance (the caloric) or merely a physical quantity, such as momentum. William Thomson (Lord Kelvin) amalgamated all of these laws into the laws of thermodynamics, which aided in the rapid development of explanations of chemical processes using the concept of energy by Rudolf Clausius, Josiah Willard Gibbs, and Walther Nernst. It also led to a mathematical formulation of the concept of entropy by Clausius and to the introduction of laws of radiant energy by Jo ef Stefan. During a 1961 lecture[6] for undergraduate students at the California Institute of Technology, Richard Feynman, a celebrated physics teacher and Nobel Laureate, said this about the concept of energy:

There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this law²it is exact so far as we know. The law is called the conservation of energy. It states that there is a certain quantity, which we call energy, that does not change in manifold changes which nature undergoes. That is a most abstract idea, because it is a mathematical principle; it says that there is a numerical quantity which does not change when something happens. It is not a description of a mechanism, or anything concrete; it is just a strange fact that we can calculate some number and when we finish watching nature go through her tricks and calculate the number again, it is the same. ²The Feynman Lectures on Physics Since 1918 it has been known that the law of conservation of energy is the direct mathematical consequence of the translational symmetry of the quantity conjugate to energy, namely time. That is, energy is conserved because the laws of physics do not distinguish between different moments of time (see Noether's theorem).

Energy in various contexts since the beginning of the universe
The concept of energy and its transformations is useful in explaining and predicting most natural phenomena. The direction of transformations in energy (what kind of energy is transformed to what other kind) is often described by entropy (equal energy spread among all available degrees of freedom) considerations, as in practice all energy transformations are permitted on a small scale, but certain larger transformations are not permitted because it is statistically unlikely that energy or matter will randomly move into more concentrated forms or smaller spaces. The concept of energy is widespread in all sciences.

In the context of chemistry, energy is an attribute of a substance as a consequence of its atomic, molecular or aggregate structure. Since a chemical transformation is accompanied by a change in one or more of these kinds of structure, it is invariably accompanied by an increase or decrease of energy of the substances involved. Some energy is transferred between the surroundings and the reactants of the reaction in the form of heat or light; thus the products of a reaction may have more or less energy than the reactants. A reaction is said to be exergonic if the final state is lower on the energy scale than the initial state; in the case of endergonic reactions the situation is the reverse. Chemical reactions are invariably not possible unless the reactants surmount an energy barrier known as the activation energy. The speed of a chemical reaction (at given temperature T) is related to the activation energy E, by the Boltzmann's population factor e í E / kT - that is the probability of molecule to have energy greater than or equal to E at the given temperature T. This exponential dependence of a reaction rate on temperature is known as the Arrhenius equation.The activation energy necessary for a chemical reaction can be in the form of thermal energy. In biology, energy is an attribute of all biological systems from the biosphere to the smallest living organism. Within an organism it is responsible for growth and


500kJ per day and a basal metabolic rate of 80 watts. radioactive decay of these atoms in the core of the Earth releases heat. Energy in such transformations is either from gravitational collapse of matter (usually molecular hydrogen) into various classes of astronomical objects (stars. etc. are all a result of energy transformations brought about by solar energy on the atmosphere of the planet Earth.. quasars and gamma ray bursts are the universe's highest-output energy transformations of matter. All stellar phenomena (including solar activity) are driven by various kinds of energy transformations. In a slower process. to store energy in the creation of these heavy elements before they were incorporated into the solar system and the Earth.25 human equivalents (100 ÷ 80) i. the human equivalent (H-e) (Human energy conversion) indicates.y y development of a biological cell or an organelle of a biological organism.[9] while meteorological phenomena like wind. For example. Thus. Energy transformations in the universe over time are characterized by various kinds of potential energy that has been available since the Big Bang. supernova.25 H-e. a store that has been produced ultimately from the same radioactive heat sources. the relative quantity of energy needed for human metabolism. by nucleosynthesis. a process ultimately using the gravitational potential energy released from the gravitational collapse of supernovae. primarily hydrogen). and proteins. nova. In cosmology and astronomy the phenomena of stars. assuming an average human energy expenditure of 12. Earthquakes also release stored elastic potential energy in rocks. via orogenesis. which may be later released to active kinetic energy in landslides. lipids. Energy is thus often said to be stored by cells in the structures of molecules of substances such as carbohydrates (including sugars).e. This energy is triggered and released in nuclear fission bombs. in which energy is released that was originally "stored" in heavy isotopes (such as uranium and thorium). For tasks lasting a few minutes. Familiar examples of such processes include nuclear decay. which release energy when reacted with oxygen in respiration. continental drift. For an activity that must be sustained for an hour. if our bodies run (on average) at 80 watts. For a difficult task of only a few seconds' duration. and earthquakes are phenomena that can be explained in terms of energy transformations in the Earth's interior. rain.[7] The human equivalent assists understanding of energy flows in physical and biological systems by expressing energy units in human terms: it provides a ³feel´ for the use of a given amount of energy[8] In geology. output drops to around 300. volcanoes.000 watts. according to present understanding. familiar events such as landslides and earthquakes release energy that has been stored as potential energy in the Earth's gravitational field or elastic strain (mechanical potential energy) in . lightning. or from nuclear fusion (of lighter elements. for an activity kept up all day. snow. 150 watts is about the maximum. when a triggering mechanism is available. tornadoes and hurricanes. hail. for a given amount of energy expenditure. This thermal energy drives plate tectonics and may lift mountains. then a light bulb running at 100 watts is running at 1. many times the 746 watts in one official horsepower. black holes. mountain ranges. a person can put out thousands of watts.). 1. after a triggering event. a fit human can generate perhaps 1. later being "released" (transformed to more active types of energy such as kinetic or radiant energy). In human terms. This slow lifting represents a kind of gravitational potential energy storage of the thermal energy.

rocks. Such a fusion process is triggered by heat and pressure generated from gravitational collapse of hydrogen clouds when they produce stars. this is a corollary of the local law. In another similar chain of transformations beginning at the dawn of the universe. It can only be transformed. This meant that hydrogen represents a store of potential energy that can be released by fusion. it can be used to drive turbines or generators to produce electricity).[6][11] Conservation of energy is the mathematical consequence of translational symmetry of time (that is. . but not vice versa. In all these events. as well. when these molecules are ingested. potential energy stored at the time of the Big Bang is later released by intermediate events. after being released at a hydroelectric dam. give up some of their thermal energy suddenly to power a few days of violent air movement. according to theory.see Noether's theorem. as more active energy. Release of the energy stored during photosynthesis as heat or light may be triggered suddenly by a spark. to release the energy of carbohydrates. According to this law. heated over months. including heat. Conservation of energy Main article: Conservation of energy Energy is subject to the law of conservation of energy. energy can only be exchanged between adjacent regions of space. space expanded and the universe cooled too rapidly for hydrogen to completely fuse into heavier elements. nuclear fusion of hydrogen in the Sun also releases another store of potential energy which was created at the time of the Big Bang. Most kinds of energy (with gravitational energy being a notable exception)[10] are also subject to strict local conservation laws. when carbon dioxide and water (two lowenergy compounds) are converted into the high-energy compounds carbohydrates. An example of a solar-mediated weather event is a hurricane. Sunlight also drives many weather phenomena. and proteins. which is utilized by living organisms as an electron acceptor. and some of the fusion energy is then transformed into sunlight. which occurs when large unstable areas of warm ocean. Such sunlight from our Sun may again be stored as gravitational potential energy after it strikes the Earth. the indistinguishability of time intervals taken at different time)[12] . stating that the total energy of the universe cannot change. sometimes being stored in a number of ways over time between releases. In this case. Prior to this. and all observers agree as to the volumetric density of energy in any given space. and catabolism is triggered by enzyme action. At that time. Plants also release oxygen during photosynthesis. Through all of these transformation chains. one kind of energy is converted to other types of energy. or it may be made available more slowly for animal or human metabolism. lipids. they represent release of energy that has been stored in heavy atoms since the collapse of long-destroyed supernova stars created these atoms. lipids. energy can neither be created (produced) nor destroyed by itself. Sunlight is also captured by plants as chemical potential energy in photosynthesis. and proteins. save those generated by volcanic events. as (for example) water evaporates from oceans and is deposited upon mountains (where. There is also a global law of conservation of energy. in a forest fire.

it is found that the total energy of the system always remains constant. that is. the uncertainty in the energy is by which is similar in form to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle (but not really mathematically equivalent thereto.[13] y The total energy of a system can be subdivided and classified in various ways. and other forms. thermal energy. this inequality permits a qualitative understanding of virtual particles which carry momentum. for the Casimir force. for van der Waals bond forces and some other observable phenomena. whenever one measures (or calculates) the total energy of a system of particles whose interactions do not depend explicitly on time. a property of most phenomena below the cosmic scale that makes them independent of their locations on the time coordinate. On any time scales. In quantum mechanics energy is expressed using the Hamiltonian operator. plus the change in the energy contained within the system. it is sometimes convenient to distinguish potential energy (which is a function of coordinates only) from kinetic energy (which is a function of coordinate time derivatives only). These classifications overlap. yesterday. neither in classical nor in quantum mechanics).rather it provides mathematical limits to which energy can in principle be defined and measured. It follows from the translational symmetry of time. It may also be convenient to distinguish gravitational energy. Applications of the concept of energy Energy is subject to a strict global conservation law. This mathematical entanglement of energy and time also results in the uncertainty principle . thermal energy usually consists partly of kinetic and partly of potential energy. for is impossible to define the exact amount of energy during any definite time interval. is responsible for the creation of all known fundamental forces (more accurately known as fundamental interactions). today. . The uncertainty principle should not be confused with energy conservation . Virtual photons (which are simply lowest quantum mechanical energy state of photons) are also responsible for electrostatic interaction between electric charges (which results in Coulomb law). This law is a fundamental principle of physics. For example. for spontaneous radiative decay of exited atomic and nuclear states. exchange by which and with real particles. since H and t are not dynamically conjugate variables. Put differently.According to energy conservation law the total inflow of energy into a system must equal the total outflow of energy from the system. electric energy. In particle physics. This is because energy is the quantity which is canonical conjugate to time. and tomorrow are physically indistinguishable.

Examples may be seen above. the canonical conjugate to time. Here E is the amount of energy transferred. familiar examples include work. heat flow. thermal energy. but not invariant with respect to rotations of space-time (= boosts). and advection. energy can be converted into a form. a system which gains in energy thereby. E=W+Q+E (3) (2) (1) . that cannot be utilized to perform work. Winding a clock would be adding energy to a mechanical system. which can lead to ambiguity and inconsistency. A familiar example is mechanical work. it is important to remember that by the definition of energy the transfer of energy between the "system" and adjacent regions is work. For example. or energy from a laser beam adds to system energy.. while energy is always conserved (in the sense that the total energy does not change despite energy transformations). e. The word "energy" is also used outside of physics in many ways. This usage of "conserve" differs from that of the law of conservation of energy. In special relativity energy is also a scalar (although not a Lorentz scalar but a time component of the energy-momentum 4-vector). energy is invariant with respect to rotations of space. or they can generally be subsumed into a quantity called "energy addition term E" which refers to any type of energy carried over the surface of a control volume or system volume. which potentials are then extracted (both of these process are illustrated by fueling an auto. The vernacular terminology is not consistent with technical terminology. as discussed below. energy can be added to a system by means of adding substances with different chemical potentials." one talks about conserving fossil fuels and preventing useful energy from being lost as heat. in the classic senses). the energy transfer can be split into two categories: E=W+Q where Q represents the heat flow into the system. without addition of either work or heat). More generally. without either being either work-done or heat-added. and many others can be imagined (for example. In simple cases this is written as the following equation: E=W if there are no other energy-transfer processes involved.g. and W represents the work done on the system.[14] In other words. There are other ways in which an open system can gain or lose energy. These terms may be added to the above equation. Energy transfer Because energy is strictly conserved and is also locally conserved (wherever it can be defined).[11] In classical physics energy is considered a scalar quantity. the kinetic energy of a stream of particles entering a system. When one talks about "conserving energy by driving less. In chemical systems.y y The transfer of energy can take various forms.

Energy is also transferred from potential energy (Ep) to kinetic energy (Ek) and then back to potential energy constantly. In this closed system. This is referred to as conservation of energy. It is related to the potential energy. and other geometric aspects.Where E in this general equation represents other additional advected energy terms not covered by work done on a system. e. These classical equations have remarkably direct analogs in nonrelativistic quantum mechanics. as it is a conserved quantity.[15] The Lagrangian Another energy-related concept is called the Lagrangian. Usually. Energy and thermodynamics Internal energy Internal energy is the sum of all microscopic forms of energy of a system. or heat added to it. after Joseph Louis Lagrange. Several formulations of mechanics have been developed using energy as a core concept. It was invented in the context of classical mechanics. This is even more fundamental than the Hamiltonian.. and can be used to derive the equations of motion. The Lagrangian is defined as the kinetic energy minus the potential energy. as well as the motion of the particles.g. This can be demonstrated by the following: Epi + Eki = EpF + EkF The equation can then be simplified further since Ep = mgh (mass times acceleration due to gravity times the height) and (half mass times velocity squared). even for highly complex or abstract systems. It is the energy needed to create the system. but is generally useful in modern physics. (4) Energy and the laws of motion In classical mechanics. after William Rowan Hamilton. The classical equations of motion can be written in terms of the Hamiltonian. energy cannot be created or destroyed. the initial energy and the final energy will be equal to each other. Then the total amount of energy can be found by adding Ep + Ek = Etotal. crystal structure. in form of kinetic . the Lagrange formalism is mathematically more convenient than the Hamiltonian for non-conservative systems (such as systems with friction). molecular structure. energy is a conceptually and mathematically useful property. The Hamiltonian The total energy of a system is sometimes called the Hamiltonian. therefore.

g. The most general statement of the first law (i. conservation of energy) is valid even in situations in which temperature is undefinable. then total energy spreads over all . work can be totally converted into heat. Although this equation is the standard textbook example of energy conservation in classical thermodynamics. The first law of thermodynamics simply asserts that energy is conserved. nuclear.. except perhaps in trivial cases.[16] The laws of thermodynamics According to the second law of thermodynamics. and because it contains a term that depends on temperature. where the first term on the right is the heat transfer into the system. the differential change in energy of the system (with a gain in energy signified by a positive quantity) is given as the following equation: . total energy of a system with many degrees of freedom is equally split among all available degrees of freedom.. defined in terms of temperature T and entropy S (in which entropy increases and the change dS is positive when the system is heated). Over the whole cycle. Thermodynamics is chiefly concerned with changes in internal energy and not its absolute value. electric.e. At two points in the oscillation cycle it is entirely kinetic. When an isolated system is given more degrees of freedom (i. dV. which is impossible to determine with thermodynamics alone. Energy is sometimes expressed as the following equation: .[17] and that heat is included as a form of energy transfer. effects such as advection of any form of energy other than heat. This is a mathematical consequence of statistical mechanics. which is unsatisfactory[11] because there cannot exist any thermodynamic state functions W or Q that are meaningful on the right hand side of this equation. a cylinder-full of gas). given new available energy states that are the same as existing states).. but not vice versa. called Equipartition of energy The energy of a mechanical harmonic oscillator (a mass on a spring) is alternatively kinetic and potential. and gravitational forces. it is highly specific. This principle is vitally important to understanding the behavior of a quantity closely related to energy. net energy is thus equally split between kinetic and potential. Entropy is a measure of evenness of a distribution of energy between parts of a system. This is called equipartition principle. where pressure is P and volume V (the negative sign results since compression of the system requires work to be done on it and so the volume change. and the last term on the right hand side is identified as "work" done on the system. or over many cycles.e. is negative when work is done on the system). and alternatively at two other points it is entirely potential. ignoring all chemical. A commonly used corollary of the first law is that for a "system" subject only to pressure forces and heat transfer (e.

and photons In an ensemble (connected collection) of unsynchronized oscillators. . For non-relativistic particles these two notions of potential versus kinetic energy are numerically equal. or vice versa. all of the thermal energy is kinetic. This expression is useful. On the other hand. this implies that the kinetic energy is 0. By extension of the previous line of thought. on average. but not so for relativistic particles. or vice versa. 1.5p2 / m at speeds much smaller than c. the average energy is spread equally between kinetic and potential types. as can be proved by writing E = mc2 ¥(1 + p2m í 2c í 2) and expanding the square root to lowest order.available degrees equally without distinction between "new" and "old" degrees. In a solid. when the electromagnetic Lagrangian is of primary interest and is interpreted in terms of potential and kinetic energy. the energy of a photon is entirely kinetic. in free space the electromagnetic field can be considered an ensemble of oscillators. For a particle that has mass. It is entirely arbitrary whether the magnetic energy is considered kinetic and whether the electric energy is considered potential. This model is useful. Oscillators. The two analyses are entirely consistent. thermal energy is equally kinetic and potential. equally kinetic and potential. because the photon is massless and has no rest energy. the contribution mc2 is called the rest energy. In this model. The electric and magnetic degrees of freedom in item 1 are transverse to the direction of motion. phonons. so the ambiguity is harmless. In an ideal gas. when the energy-versusmomentum relationship is of primary interest. That is. while the speed in item 2 is along the direction of motion. By this line of reasoning. either the inductor is analogous to the mass while the capacitor is analogous to the spring. 2. and all other contributions to the energy are called kinetic energy. its energy must be. the interaction potential between particles is essentially the delta function which stores no energy: thus. Because an electric oscillator (LC circuit) is analogous to a mechanical oscillator. thermal energy (often referred to loosely as heat content) can be accurately described by an ensemble of thermal phonons that act as mechanical oscillators. for example. in the key equation m2c4 = E2 í p2c2. for example. This mathematical result is called the second law of thermodynamics. meaning that radiation energy can be considered equally potential and kinetic.

each characterized by an energy level) which results in the concept of quanta.Work and virtual work Work. for details see the mechanical work article. This says that the work (W) is equal to the line integral of the force F along a path C. But. where m is the mass. In results can be considered as a definition of measurement of energy in quantum mechanics. For example. consider a ball being hit by a bat. the resulting energy states are related to the frequency by the Planck equation E = h (where h is the Planck's constant and the frequency). .and time-dependence of slow changing (non-relativistic) wave function of quantum systems.using Lorentz transformations instead of Newtonian mechanics. a form of energy. is force times distance. in the reference frame of the person swinging the bat. In the solution of the Schrödinger equation for any oscillator (vibrator) and for electromagnetic waves in a vacuum. Work and thus energy is frame dependent. considerable work is done on the ball. The Schrödinger equation describes the space. He called it rest mass energy . Einstein discovered an unexpected by-product of these calculations to be an energy term which does not vanish at zero speed. Quantum mechanics Main article: Energy operator In quantum mechanics energy is defined in terms of the energy operator as a time derivative of the wave which every mass must possess even when being at rest. The solution of this equation for bound system is discrete (a set of permitted states. The amount of energy is directly proportional to the mass of body: E = mc2. Relativity When calculating kinetic energy (work to accelerate a mass from zero speed to some finite speed) relativistically . In the case of electromagnetic wave these energy states are called quanta of light or photons. The Schrödinger equation equates the energy operator to the full energy of a particle or a system. In the center-of-mass reference frame. the bat does no work on the ball.

c is the speed of light in vacuum. the stress-energy tensor serves as the source term for the gravitational field. chemical energy in some form in the case of animals²to be able to grow and reproduce. in which the rest mass of individual particles is destroyed. In general relativity. For example.the inverse process is called pair creation . and because mass is a form of energy. then mass too has inertia and gravity associated with it. It would be more accurate to state that every energy has inertia and gravity equivalent. consider electron-positron annihilation.5O2 57CO2 + 55H2O and some of the energy is used to convert ADP into ATP ADP + HPO42í ATP + H2O . Any living organism relies on an external source of energy²radiation from the Sun in the case of green plants. in rough analogy to the way mass serves as the source term in the non-relativistic Newtonian approximation. of which glucose (C6H12O6) and stearin (C57H110O6) are convenient which the rest mass of particles is created from energy of two (or more) annihilating photons. The food molecules are oxidised to carbon dioxide and water in the mitochondria C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O C57H110O6 + 81. but the inertia equivalent of the system of the two particles (its invariant mass) remains (since all energy is associated with mass). The daily 1500±2000 Calories (6±8 MJ) recommended for a human adult are taken as a combination of oxygen and food molecules. the latter mostly carbohydrates and fats. and this inertia and invariant mass is carried off by photons which individually are massless. Energy and life Main article: Bioenergetics Basic overview of energy and human life.[14] It is not uncommon to hear that energy is "equivalent" to mass. This is a reversible process . E is the rest mass energy. but as a system retain their mass.

3 Pg/a (52%) are used for the metabolism of green plants. there is no absolute measure of energy.e. Only the transition of a system from one state into another can be defined and thus energy is measured in relative terms. The choice of a baseline or zero point is often arbitrary and can be made in whatever way is most convenient for a problem. Measurement A Calorimeter . is used for other metabolism (at each stage of a metabolic pathway.[19] Simpler organisms can achieve higher energy efficiencies than more complex ones. In growing organisms the energy that is converted to heat serves a vital purpose. reconverted into carbon dioxide and heat.[20] i. and some of the chemical energy it contains when split and reacted with water.7 Pg/a of carbon that is fixed by photosynthesis. 64.An instrument used by physicists to measure energy Because energy is defined as the ability to do work on objects. as it allows the organism tissue to be highly ordered with regard to the molecules it is built from. but the complex organisms can occupy ecological niches that are not available to their simpler brethren. The conversion of a portion of the chemical energy to heat at each step in a metabolic pathway is the physical reason behind the pyramid of biomass observed in ecology: to take just the first step in the food chain. and it is true that most real machines manage higher efficiencies.The rest of the chemical energy in the carbohydrate or fat is converted into heat: the ATP is used as a sort of "energy currency". it is necessary to spread out a greater amount of energy (as heat) across the remainder of the universe ("the surroundings"). some chemical energy is converted into heat). . The second law of thermodynamics states that energy (and matter) tends to become more evenly spread out across the universe: to concentrate energy (or matter) in one specific place. of the estimated 124. Only a tiny fraction of the original chemical energy is used for work:[18] gain in kinetic energy of a sprinter during a 100 m race: 4 kJ gain in gravitational potential energy of a 150 kg weight lifted through 2 metres: 3kJ Daily food intake of a normal adult: 6±8 MJ It would appear that living organisms are remarkably inefficient (in the physical sense) in their use of the energy they receive (chemical energy or radiation).

other units of energy include the kilowatt hour (kWh) and the British thermal unit (Btu). even in liquid form. In a few applications. a much lower energy density.6 million joules. time. but. and one Btu is equivalent to about 1055 joules. For fuels. radiation. One kWh is equivalent to exactly 3. These are both larger units of energy.[21] Energy density Main article: Energy density Energy density is a term used for the amount of useful energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume. electric charge and electric current. the effectiveness of hydrogen fuel to gasoline it turns out that hydrogen has a higher specific energy than does gasoline. In addition to the joule. a thermodynamic technique that relies on the measurement of temperature using a thermometer or of intensity of radiation using a bolometer. Units Main article: Units of energy Throughout the history of science. Forms of energy . the energy per unit volume is sometimes a useful parameter. At present.Methods The methods for the measurement of energy often deploy methods for the measurement of still more fundamental concepts of science. for example. the accepted unit of measurement for energy is the SI unit of energy. comparing. Conventionally the technique most often employed is calorimetry. namely mass. the joule. temperature. distance. energy has been expressed in several different units such as ergs and calories.

as is often the case . and kinetic energy. which is a function of the position of an object. Similar remarks apply to nuclear "potential" energy and most other forms of energy. Whenever physical scientists discover that a certain phenomenon appears to violate the law of energy conservation. such as gravitation. Classical mechanics distinguishes between potential energy. which do not include thermal potential and kinetic energy.. Also what is called chemical potential energy (below) is a macroscopic notion. kinetic energy and potential energy. because it exists in all force fields. The above list of the known possible forms of energy is not necessarily compete. which must be specified: this is often (and originally) an arbitrary fixed point on the surface of the Earth.Heat. These include: y y y y y Thermal energy. It has been attempted to categorize all forms of energy as either kinetic or potential: this is not incorrect. Potential energy refers to the energy any object gets due to its position in a force field. This dependence on length scale is non-problematic if the various length scales are decoupled. electrostatic and magnetic fields. which is a function of its movement. In the context of physical sciences. a hypothetical form of energy that permeates all of space and tends to increase the rate of expansion of the universe. Both position and movement are relative to a frame of reference. but neither is it clear that it is a real simplification. is partly potential energy and partly kinetic energy. as is the case with dark energy. one can speak of macroscopic potential and kinetic energy. and closer examination shows that it is really the sum of the potential and kinetic energy on the atomic and subatomic scale. as Feynman points out: These notions of potential and kinetic energy depend on a notion of length scale. several forms of energy have been defined. Energy may be transformed between these forms. For example. . but confusion can arise when different length scales are coupled. Other familiar types of energy are a varying mix of both potential and kinetic energy. The term potential energy is a very general term. the energy of electromagnetic radiation Nuclear energy y y y y Magnetic energy Elastic energy Sound Energy Mechanical energy These energies may be divided into two main groups. for instance when friction converts macroscopic work into microscopic thermal energy. Mechanical energy Mechanical energy manifest in many forms. new forms may be added. a form of energy..but can be broadly classified into elastic potential energy and kinetic energy. thermal energy in transit is called heat Chemical energy Electrical energy Radiant energy. the terrestrial frame of reference.

Main article: Potential energy Potential energy. If F is the force and s is the displacement. the energy converts back firstly to kinetic energy and then as the ball re-gains height into potential energy. On impact with a hard surface the ball deforms. Elastic potential energy As a ball falls freely under the influence of gravity. Energy conversion to heat due to inelastic deformation and air resistance cause each successive bounce to be lower than the last. V or . F. The name "potential" energy originally signified the idea that the energy could readily be transferred as work²at least in an idealized system (reversible process. in a spring or any other system which obeys Hooke's law is proportional to the extension or compression. is defined as the work done against a given force (= work of given force with minus sign) in changing the position of an object with respect to a reference position (often taken to be infinite separation). notably when dealing with gravity or with elastic forces. The general equation above can be simplified in a number of common cases. it accelerates downward. its initial potential energy converting into kinetic energy. As the ball springs back. The force. This is not completely true for any real system. converting the kinetic energy into elastic potential energy. see below). x. with the dot representing the scalar product of the two vectors. symbols Ep. but is often a reasonable first approximation in classical mechanics. Main article: Elastic potential energy Elastic potential energy is defined as a work needed to compress (or expand) a spring. F = í kx .

represents the smallest possible energy that a surface can have if its energy is proportional to the area of the surface. This equation reduces to the one above it. the total energy is the rest energy. this work must be calculated using Lorentz transformations. the minimum energy will as usual be sought. c. so that at rest. In particular.e. i. the calculated work becomes only when k is constant. respectively. as seen in capillary surfaces for example. such as a stretched sheet of rubber or material interfaces. calculating this work one easily obtains the following: At speeds approaching the speed of light. it is possible to define surface energy. when they are not being broken or formed. The kinetic energy is zero at v=0. Hooke's law is a good approximation for behaviour of chemical bonds under normal conditions. a resting mass has the amount of total energy equal to: Erest = mc2 This energy is thus called rest mass energy. which results in the following: Here the two terms on the right hand side are identified with the total energy and the rest energy of the object.where k is the force constant of the particular spring (or system). at small (compared to c) speed. In this case. Thus. Kinetic energy Main article: Kinetic energy Kinetic energy. A minimal surface. for example. is the work required to accelerate an object to a given speed. (open) soap films of small . For this reason. any meeting of dissimilar materials that don't mix will result in some kind of surface tension. Surface energy If there is any kind of tension in a surface. Indeed. T or K. symbols Ek. if there is freedom for the surfaces to move then.

useful in astronomy. Gravitational energy Main article: Gravitational potential energy The gravitational force near the Earth's surface varies very little with the height. The ear is set up in an optimal way to interpret sound energy in the form of vibrations. g = 9.6742(10)×10í11 m3kgí1sí2.[22] In this case. It is closely related to the ability of the human ear to perceive sound. [edit] Sound energy Sound is a form of mechanical vibration which propagates through any mechanical medium. 6. the gravitational potential energy is given by Ep. In case of molecules in the gas rotational and vibrational energy is involved. plasma. In the case of liquids and solids there is also potential energy (of interaction of atoms) involved. In these cases. m. Thermal energy Main article: Thermal energy Thermal energy (of some media . Note that a bubble is a minimum energy surface but not a minimal surface by definition). It is amplified and passed through the outer ear. striking the eardrum. the reference point is the infinite separation of the two bodies. .gas. Auditory nerves fire according to the particular vibrations of the sound waves in the inner ear.size are minimal surfaces (small size reduces gravity effects. and is equal to the mass. For example. where r is the separation between the two bodies and G is the gravitational constant.) is the energy associated with the microscopical random motion of particles constituting the media.g = mgh A more general expression for the potential energy due to Newtonian gravitation between two bodies of masses m1 and m2. etc. in case of monoatomic gas it is just a kinetic energy of motion of atoms of gas as measured in the reference frame of the center of mass of gas.81 m/s . multiplied by the gravitational acceleration. which transmits sounds into the inner ear. The wide outer area of the ear is maximized to collect sound vibrations. solid. h. and so on. and openness prevents pressure from building up. which designate such things as the pitch and volume of the sound. is .

but vice versa .charges at an extremely close proximity to each other (so there is zero net charge on each plate of a capacitor). 107/4 c0 or 8. Electric energy Main articles: Electromagnetism and Electricity Electrostatic energy The electric potential energy of given configuration of charges is defined as the work which must be done against the Coulomb force to rearrange charges from infinite separation to this configuration (or the work done by the Coulomb force separating the charges from this configuration to infinity).it is easier to measure both voltage difference and magnitude of charges on a capacitor plates not versus infinite separation of charges but rather versus discharged capacitor where charges return to close proximity to each other (electrons and ions recombine making the plates neutral). For two point-like charges Q1 and Q2 at a distance r this work. e. This definition will fail if the system undergoes a phase transition²e.1855 J.g.06 J).854188«×10í12 F/m. if ice is melting to water²as in these cases the system can absorb heat without increasing its temperature. Despite the theoretical problems. a bath of water.A heat is defined as a transfer (flow) of thermal energy across certain boundary (for example. The justification for this choice is purely practical . and the British thermal unit was defined as the energy required to heat one pound of water by 1 °F (later fixed as 1055. In more complex systems. the reference configuration is usually selected not to be infinite separation of charges.[22] If the charge is accumulated in a capacitor (of capacitance C). and hence electric potential energy is equal to: where 0 is the electric constant of a vacuum.g. from a hot body to cold via the area of their contact. The calorie was originally defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by 1 °C (approximately 4. it is preferable to use the concept of internal energy rather than that of thermal energy (see Chemical energy below). It is also possible to measure the amount of electric energy required to raise the temperature of the object by the same amount. In a wide variety of situations. A practical definition for small transfers of heat is where Cv is the heat capacity of the system. In this case the work and thus the electric potential energy becomes . it is possible to use the energy released by a system to raise the temperature of another object. the above definition is useful in the experimental measurement of energy changes. although the definition later changed).

electric energy is converted to heat. This second expression forms the basis for superconducting magnetic energy storage. I is the current (in amperes). some of the electric energy will be converted into other forms of energy (although some will always be lost as heat). The last of these expressions is important in the practical measurement of energy. resistance and time can all be measured with considerable accuracy. and is equal: while the energy stored in an inductor (of inductance L) when current I is passing via it is . if the current passes through an electric appliance.Electricity energy If an electric current passes through a resistor. t is the time for which the current flows (in seconds). The potential energy of a magnet of magnetic moment m in a magnetic field B is defined as the work of magnetic force (actually of magnetic torque) on re-alignment of the vector of the magnetic dipole moment. The amount of electric energy due to an electric current can be expressed in a number of different ways: where U is the electric potential difference (in volts). Q is the charge (in coulombs). Electromagnetic Energy Calculating work needed to create an electric or magnetic field in unit volume (say. in a capacitor or an inductor) results in the electric and magnetic fields energy densities: and . as potential difference. Magnetic energy There is no fundamental difference between magnetic energy and electric energy: the two phenomena are related by Maxwell's equations. P is the power (in watts) and R is the electric resistance (in ohms).

So. represents a flow of electromagnetic energy. If the chemical energy of a system decreases during a chemical reaction. which is expressed as in SI units. gives the density of the flow of energy and its direction. on the other hand if the chemical energy of a system increases as a result of a chemical reaction .6260693(11)×10í34 Js. Applying the above expressions to magnetic and electric components of electromagnetic field both the volumetric density and the flow of energy in e/m field can be calculated. the difference is transferred to the surroundings in some form (often heat or light).. electrons and protons. the chemical energy decreases by 724 zJ (the bond energy of the H±H bond). The resulting Poynting vector. The photons which make up visible light have energies of 270±520 yJ. the strength of weaker chemical bonds. equivalent to 160±310 kJ/mol.[22] and is the frequency of the radiation. such as microwaves. This quantity of electromagnetic energy is usually called a photon. The spacing between these levels is equal to E=h where h is the Planck constant. The energy of electromagnetic radiation is quantized (has discrete energy levels).the difference then is supplied by the surroundings (usually again in form of heat or light). It may be defined as a work done by electric forces during rearrangement of mutual positions of electric charges. 6. [edit] Chemical energy Main article: Chemical thermodynamics Chemical energy is the energy due to associations of atoms in molecules and various other kinds of aggregates of matter. in SI units. Examples of the interconversion of energy Chemical energy is converted into by Mechanical Muscle energy Thermal energy Fire Electric energy Fuel cell Electromagnetic Glowworms radiation Chemical Chemical reaction energy . when two hydrogen atoms react to form a dihydrogen molecule. basically it is electrostatic potential energy of electric charges. Electromagnetic radiation. in the process of aggregation. visible light or gamma rays. For example.

It is common to quote the changes in chemical energy for one mole of the substance in question: typical values for the change in molar chemical energy during a chemical reaction range from tens to hundreds of kilojoules per mole. a tank-full of gasoline (45 litres.630 kilowatt hour On the same basis. the chemical energy increases by 2. a correction must be applied to take account of the work done by or on the atmosphere to obtain the enthalpy.3076 GJ = 8. must also be performed to determine whether a chemical reaction will take place or not. 12 gallons) is equivalent to about 1. natural gas or products derived from them has been a socially significant transformation of chemical energy into other forms of energy. Nuclear energy Main article: Nuclear binding energy . U: technically. this is measured by keeping the volume of the system constant. giving the Gibbs free energy. G: G= HíT S These corrections are sometimes negligible. When food is digested and metabolized (often with oxygen).868 GJ = 11.18 aJ (the ionization energy of hydrogen).6 GJ of chemical energy. burning a tonne of oil releases about ten times as much energy as the explosion of one tonne of TNT: fortunately. H: H= U+P V A second correction. but often not (especially in reactions involving gases).when the electron is completely removed from a hydrogen atom.184 GJ. chemical energy is released. S. taken as 4. Since the industrial revolution. Most practical chemistry is performed at constant pressure and. a gas is given off). the burning of coal. Another chemically based unit of measurement for energy is the "tonne of TNT". or by muscles into kinetic energy. The chemical energy as defined above is also referred to by chemists as the internal energy. which can in turn be transformed into heat. more controlled manner. oil.141 kilowatt hour 1 tonne of oil equivalent (TOE) = 41. for the change in entropy. forming a hydrogen ion (in the gas phase). Simple examples of storage of chemical energy are batteries and food. if the volume changes during the reaction (e. the energy is usually released in a slower. the energy "consumption" (one should really speak of "energy transformation") of a society or country is often quoted in reference to the average energy released by the combustion of these fossil fuels: 1 tonne of coal equivalent (TCE) = 29. Hence.g.

In this system. but during this process. which represents 4 million tons per second of electromagnetic radiation. no particles or atoms are destroyed in the process of turning the sun's nuclear potential energy into light. In the Sun. Rather. but these minor processes are not important to the immediate energy release in fission and fusion. [edit] Transformations of energy Main article: Energy conversion One form of energy can often be readily transformed into another with the help of a device. is an example of this form of energy conversion. Each of the helium nuclei which are formed in the process are less massive than the four protons from they were formed. or electron capture decay). also called solar energy.for instance. but the mass is missing only because it escapes in the form of heat or light. Radioactive Chemical decay energy Nuclear particles (nucleons) like protons and neutrons are not destroyed (law of conservation of baryon number) in fission and Nuclear energy Nuclear isomerism fusion processes. The result of both these processes are nuclei in which the more-optimal size of the nucleus allows the nuclear force (which is opposed by the electromagnetic force) to bind nuclear particles more tightly together than before the reaction. A few lighter particles may be created or destroyed (example: beta minus and beta plus decay. which retain the mass and conduct it out of the system where it is not measured. fission and fusion release energy when collections of baryons become more tightly bound. moving into space. the process of hydrogen fusion converts about 4 million metric tons of solar matter per second into light. The energy from the Sun. Yet another example is that of a pendulum.Examples of the interconversion of energy Nuclear binding energy is converted into by Alpha Mechanical radiation The Weak nuclear force (different from the strong force) provides energy the potential energy for certain kinds of radioactive decay. a battery. Beta Electrical radiation energy The energy released in nuclear processes is so large that the Electromagnetic Gamma relativistic change in mass (after the energy has been removed) radiation radiation can be as much as several parts per thousand. Similarly. the light itself retains the inertial equivalent of this mass. but (to a good approximation). At its highest points the kinetic energy is zero and the . and indeed the mass itself (as a system). chemical potential energy is transformed to kinetic energy and thermal energy in a very short time. a dam: gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy of moving water (and the blades of a turbine) and ultimately to electric energy through an electric generator. such as Thermal energy Sun beta decay. along with electric potential energy. Nuclear potential energy. from chemical energy to electric energy. the number of total protons and neutrons in the sun does not change. provides the energy released from nuclear fission and nuclear fusion processes. in the case of a chemical explosion. This heat and radiation retains the "missing" mass. which is radiated into space. and it is the energy associated with a fraction of the mass of the nucleons (but not the whole particles) which appears as the heat and electromagnetic radiation generated by nuclear reactions.

and those that are thermodynamically irreversible. present as possible exitations in fields between atoms. Thomson (1881). Conversely. A reversible process in thermodynamics is one in which no energy is dissipated (spread) into empty energy states available in a volume. from which it cannot be recovered into more concentrated forms (fewer quantum states). as in the pendulum system described above. is reversible. Friedrich Hasenöhrl (1904) and others (see Mass-energy equivalence#History for further information). act as a reservoir for part of the energy. the average power Pavg over that period is given by the formula . the conversion of energy between these processes is perfect. Since c2 is extremely large relative to ordinary human scales. Henri Poincaré (1900). If one (unrealistically) assumes that there is no friction. Transformation of energy into useful work is a core topic of thermodynamics. Examples of energy transformation into matter (particles) are found in high energy nuclear physics. 1 kg) to other forms of energy can liberate tremendous amounts of energy (~9x1016 joules).gravitational potential energy is at maximum. At its lowest point the kinetic energy is at maximum and is equal to the decrease of potential energy. without degradation of even more energy. from which it cannot be recovered. power is the rate at which work is performed or energy is converted[1][2] If W is the amount of work performed during a period of time of duration t. In this case. In nature. in the universe (such as an expansion of matter. In different theoretical frameworks. the energy must partly stay as heat. J. For example. Power (physics) In physics. as can be seen in nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons. except at the price of an increase in some other kind of heat-like increase in disorder in quantum states. and the pendulum will continue swinging forever. transformations of energy can be fundamentally classed into two kinds: those that are thermodynamically reversible. conversion of energy from one type of potential field to another. unless the energy loss is very large. and cannot be completely recovered as usable energy. which is why a loss of energy from most systems is difficult to measure by weight. quantum states of lower energy. in order to be converted with 100% efficiency into other forms of energy. similar formulas were derived by J. A reversible process is one in which this sort of dissipation does not happen. the mass equivalent of a unit of energy is minuscule. In processes where heat is generated. Energy gives rise to weight and is equivalent to matter and vice versa. the conversion of ordinary amount of mass (say. derived by Albert Einstein (1905) quantifies the relationship between mass and rest energy within the concept of special relativity. or a randomization in a crystal). The formula E = mc .

Note that only motion that is along the same axis as the force "counts". or the power required to lift 550 pounds by one foot in one second. The SI unit of power is the watt (W). CV). which is equal to one joule per second. Units The dimension of power is energy divided by time. The instantaneous power is then the limiting value of the average power as the time interval t approaches zero. metric horsepower (Pferdestärke (PS) or cheval vapeur. In the case of constant power P. the amount of work performed during a period of duration T is given by: In the context of energy conversion it is more customary to use the symbol E rather than W. and tons of refrigeration (12. however.000 Btu/h).000 foot-pounds per minute. Non-SI units of power include ergs per second (erg/s). Btu per hour (Btu/h). This is often summarized by saying that work is equal to the force acting on an object times its displacement (how far the object moves while the force acts on it).It is the average amount of work done or energy converted per unit of time. horsepower (hp). The average power is often simply called "power" when the context makes it clear. One horsepower is equivalent to 33. Mechanical power In mechanics. Other units include dBm. and foot-pounds per minute. the work done on an object is related to the forces acting on it by where F is force d is the displacement of the object. a relative logarithmic measure with 1 milliwatt as reference. (food) calories per hour (often referred to as kilocalories per hour). a force in the same direction as motion . and is equivalent to about 746 watts.

p and volumetric flow rate. Or The average power is therefore . In systems with fluid flow. power is related to the torque ( ) and angular velocity ( ): . and a force in an opposing direction of motion provides negative work. while motion perpendicular to the force yields zero work. Differentiating by time gives that the instantaneous power is equal to the force times the object's velocity v(t): . or N/m2 in SI units) Q is volumetric flow rate (in m3/s in SI units) . power is related to pressure. In rotational systems. The average power is then . This formula is important in characterizing engines²the power output of an engine is equal to the force it exerts multiplied by its velocity.produces positive work. Q: where p is pressure (in pascals.

That is. Average electrical power for sinusoidal voltages The average power consumed by a sinusoidally-driven linear two-terminal electrical device is a function of the root mean square (rms) values of the voltage across the terminals and the current through the device. i. measured in volts I(t) is the current through it. measured in volts . a capacitor or an inductor). where P is the average power. and of the phase angle between the voltage and current sinusoids.g. measured in watts (joules over second) V(t) is the potential difference (or voltage drop) across the component. measured in amperes If the component is a resistor with time-invariant voltage to current ratio. measured in watts I is the root mean square value of the sinusoidal alternating current (AC). measured in amperes V is the root mean square value of the sinusoidal alternating voltage. measured in ohms.Electrical power Main article: Electric power Instantaneous electrical power The instantaneous electrical power P delivered to a component is given by where P(t) is the instantaneous power. If the component is reactive (e. when the current and voltage are of opposite signs. then the instantaneous power is negative when the component is giving stored energy back to its environment.e.. then: where is the resistance.

as compared to the larger apparent power which is expressed in volt-amperes (VA) and does not include the cos term due to the current and voltage being out of phase. such as those used almost universally in mains electrical supplies. This makes the above calculation a simple matter of multiplying the two stated numbers together. Average electrical power for AC Where v(t) and i(t) are. the average power is equal to the product of the rms voltage and rms current. For purely resistive devices. This figure can also be called the effective power. For simple domestic appliances or a purely resistive network. In this case. the average effective power can still be expressed in general as a power factor times the product of rms voltage and rms current. and can therefore be omitted from the equation. The amplitudes of sinusoidal voltages and currents. the cos term (called the power factor) can often be assumed to be unity. even if the waveforms are not sinusoidal. that has a mean square. but the power factor is no longer as simple as the cosine of a phase angle if the drive is non-sinusoidal or the device is not linear. the effective and apparent power are assumed to be equal. For devices more complex than a resistor. Peak power and duty cycle . the phase angle between the voltage and the current sine functions. are normally specified in terms of root mean square values. The formula works for any waveform. periodic or otherwise. the instantaneous voltage and current as functions of time. that is why the rms formulation is so useful.

It is also called the duty cycle (see text for definitions). and the measurement of the average power Pavg is more commonly performed by an instrument. If one defines the energy per pulse as: then the average power is: .In a train of identical pulses. however. the instantaneous power p(t) = | s(t) | 2 is also a periodic function of period T. In the case of a periodic signal s(t) of period T. One may define the pulse length such that P0 = pulse so that the ratios . the instantaneous power is a periodic function of time. The ratio of the pulse duration to the period is equal to the ratio of the average power to the peak power. The peak power is simply defined by: P0 = max(p(t)). The peak power is not always readily measurable. like a train of identical pulses.

or radiometry. used to express the ability of a lens or other optical device to focus light. the average rate of energy transport by electromagnetic radiation. .are equal. the term power sometimes refers to radiant flux. It is measured in dioptres (inverse metres). The term "power" is also. and equals the inverse of the focal length of the optical device. These ratios are called the duty cycle of the pulse train. Power in optics Main article: Optical power In optics. however. measured in watts.

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