TED Conversations

Zman Kietilipooskie

This conversation is closed.

What is Energy

This is under the assumption that energy is the most basic structure. What exactly is it and what did it come from, did it always exist? How exactly does it create actual things? Does our understanding of physics actually have any implications towards the nature of energy.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Mar 8 2014: When scientists or laymen say energy, they do not make the required subtle distinction. It's important to notice that when we say energy, most of the time we talk about matter's certain activity which is interpreted as energy, but not about pure energy. Because actually there's only 1 pure & independent form of energy we really know or see today (correct me if I am wrong), and that form is the electromagnetic radiation. Besides it, with all other forms of energy we need the matter as a medium to express the energy. Meaning, in all other forms, the energy is just an abstract mathematical entity which is expressed in units that are combined of matter and other physical entities like length, time, …..

    All these forms of energy are matter-dependent and they do not exist by their own. We call them in the common term of Energy because the various effects of those energies and their units are interchangeable. But as far as we can see today, only the electromagnetic energy can exist independently, without requiring the matter for its real-time existence (it’s originated from matter though).

    Considering the above, if we view the light (and the electromagnetic radiation in general) as the only true pure energy, we get a new perspective on the very peculiar behavior of light . Unlike the matter, the electromagnetic radiation is always travelling and it travels in the fastest velocity allowed by the Laws of Physics (or the nature). This gives us insight about the nature of pure energy existing by its own, which does not require the matter as a medium to exist independently once created (unlike heat, kinetic energy, electricity, etc).
    • Mar 10 2014: When two strangers randomly meet then what energy works behind the scene ?

      --------------

      When electricity is passed through a coil then electromagnetic waves are produced.Electromagnetic waves are called electromagnetic because magnetic energy has been produced by the electrical energy.

      How electromagnetic energy exists Independently ?

      If that would have been possible then we didn't needed electricity to produce electromagnetism in a fan to make the rotor of the fan move.
      • thumb
        Mar 11 2014: The questions asked in this discussion are about physical energy and not mental energy.

        I think you are wrong: when electricity is passed through coil, just magnetic field is created, not electromagnetic waves. Magnetic field is created each time an electric charge moves in space or in matter. Electromagnetic waves are created when an electron jumps from one energy level around an atom nucleus to another level. The difference in the energy levels is the energy of the photon (electromagnetic radiation//wave) which is emitted in that process of jumping between the 2 energy levels in atom.

        Also, magnetic field is not energy, it's just a field, like gravitation field. What characterizes fields is that they have the potential to create energy//work when the appropriate substance interacts with them. So, with electric or magnetic fields the substance which creates energy//work is electric charge, with gravitation the substance is mass. But the fields by themselves are not energy, and don't ask me what are they really.

        I had already written in my first comment that electromagnetic radiation is indeed originated from matter. But once the radiation (energy) is created, it exists independently of matter.
        • Mar 12 2014: No, In my question I am not talking about mental energy.

          I am not convinced with your explanation of Electromagnetic Waves, because electromagnetic waves are associated with electric and magnetic field which is created when electric charge is accelerated.

          When electric energy is oscillated at high frequency then also electric magnetic waves are generated . All our communication system from mobile phone to television broadcasting uses electromagnetic waves for transmission and reception of signals.

          So , I am not convinced with the following explanation.

          "Electromagnetic waves are created when an electron jumps from one energy level around an atom nucleus to another level. The difference in the energy levels is the energy of the photon (electromagnetic radiation//wave) which is emitted in that process of jumping between the 2 energy levels in atom. "
      • thumb
        Mar 12 2014: When discussing anything, due care should be taken when using words. I am talking about independent EXISTENCE of electromagnetic energy while you are repeatedly talking about CREATION of that energy. These are two different things. So, what I say about independent existence of that energy, does not contradict what you say about the creation of it. So I shall repeat again and say that ONCE the electromagnetic energy is CREATED in matter, it can EXIST independently outside of matter, which is very unlike to other forms of energies like heat, Kinetic energy, electric energy (Electrons current) which they all require the matter to exist. Not only that they require the matter to exist, but the matter itself is the only substance for their expression as energies and that's why, unlike the electromagnetic energy, they are NOT independent of the matter. They are acutely and continuously dependent upon matter for their very EXISTENCE as energies.

        In your last reply, you have added a new factor to your argument which changes the Rules of the Game, and that is acceleration. Acceleration by itself inputs kinetic energy into the system and so obviously this energy input turns into electromagnetic radiation. This is very coherent with my first explanation about how basically electromagnetic radiation is created in matter. The point is that there is always some input of other forms of energies (acceleration, heat, kinetic energy, electricity, ......) which turns into electromagnetic radiation -- either this input occurs deep inside atoms, or in coil, or in antennas, or in whatever else. The result is the same and that is the creation of electromagnetic energy (radiation). But in all these different ways of creation, it's always only ONE basic process which creates the electromagnetic energy, and that is by jumping of electrons from one energy level to another level around atoms' nuclei.

        Also the oscillation occurs in matter, like antennas, coils.....etc.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.