Frizz (Frizztext) in his excellent blogger’s magazine (which you should check out immediately if you don’t know about it) presents us with a weekly challenge. This week’s challenge is the letter E. All you have to do is to go through your old posts, find something tagged with the letter E and send it in to Frizz.
We all think we know about the concept of energy: the ability to do work. We use the word all the time. We have energy bars, energy drinks, energy crises, Departments of Energy. We need energy to live. However, energy is an abstract concept that stands for a quantity that has no real existence. Energy is simply presumed to exist. Some capacity or entity is always (out) there and we use this concept of energy to understand/explain this world that we’re in. The realization in the mid-19th century that heat can be conceived as a form of energy produced through the movement of atoms (unseen at the time) and the collisions between these atoms hitting each other like little ping pong balls set modern physics on its present course. The laws of thermodynamics, in particular the Law of Conservation of Energy and the Law of Entropy, are basic to our understanding of the world. These laws are apparently inviolate. There’s only so much energy in the universe. Have an energy bar.
Then there’s Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity: E = mc2: the equivalence of mass and energy. Mass is energy. Energy is mass. Beautiful stuff to think about. We tend to think of ourselves as matter, as corporeal. But we are energy. It’s all energy. EEEEEEikes!