Last modified on 18 July 2014, at 13:56

Energy

Energy is a fundamental concept in physics that is often defined as the capacity to do mechanical work — a definition disputed by many physicists. It also has a specific connotation of the forms of energy used for powering technological society.

QuotesEdit

  • Our decision about energy will test the character of the American people and the ability of the President and the Congress to govern this Nation. This difficult effort will be the "moral equivalent of war," except that we will be uniting our efforts to build and not to destroy.
    • Jimmy Carter, address to the nation on the energy problem (April 18, 1977); Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Jimmy Carter, 1977, book 1, p. 656. Carter was quoting William James, who used the phrase in his essay, "The Moral Equivalent of War".
  • It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge what energy is. We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount.
  • We must proceed with our own energy development. Exploitation of domestic petroleum and natural gas potentialities, along with nuclear, solar, geothermal, and non-fossil fuels is vital. We will never again permit any foreign nation to have Uncle Sam over a barrel of oil.
    • Gerald Ford, speech to the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, West Palm Beach, Florida (January 26, 1974); reported in Congressional Record (February 4, 1974), vol. 120, p. 2044.
  • Hold somebody's hand and feel its warmth. Gram per gram, it converts 10 000 times more energy per second than the sun. You find this hard to believe? Here are the numbers: an average human weighs 70 kilograms and consumes about 12 600 kilojoules / day; that makes about 2 millijoules / gram.second, or 2 milliwatts / gram. For the sun it's miserable 0.2 microjoules / gram.second. Some bacteria, such as the soil bacterium "Azotobacter" convert as much as 10 joules / gram.second, outperforming the sun by a factor 50 million. I am warm because inside each of my body cells there are dozens, hundreds or even tousands of mitochondria that burn the food I eat.
  • If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match, you will understand the concept of amplification.
  • The real key word that triggers my rage is the word "energy". When people start talking about positive or negative types, for instance, negative energy — what are you talking about? What do you mean? Let's think about it, what does energy mean? Well, we know what it means, you know, energy from petrol when it's burned and moves a car and makes it move, it's like this. "This room has positive energy." Now, where the fuck is it going, then? It's not moving. It's covering up such woolly thinking, such pathetic nonsense.
    • Stephen Fry on New Age use of the word "energy".
    • Room 101, Season 6 Episode 10

External linksEdit

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