Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 14 – Energy Research – Part 1 - What is energy?

Energy is a term used very often these days - we hear of the word "energy" is many contexts, both physical and non physical - in this, and the following blogs, I will attempt to see the similarities, differences and connections between the different types and aspects of energy.

We will begin with physical energy - it is important to realize that scientists have no actual understanding of what energy is (Richard Feynman) - there are mathematical expressions that have been found, and defined as energy, though energy itself has never been directly observed, it can only be "seen" through the relationships and dependencies between other observable quantities.

As physicist attempt to understand the physical reality, they look for relationships between different natural quantities, and then defines those relationships as new quantities with specific characteristics, as for instance, the relationship between the quantity of displacement (x) as the distance a body travels, and the quantity of time (t) as the time a body is in motion, gives us "new" quantities such as velocity and acceleration, through specific mathematical equations that express the relationships and dependencies between the initial quantities.

It's interesting to question whether or not velocity, or any quantity for that matter, is independent of the equation scientists have found to define and calculate it by, does it exist independently as a physical relationship and interaction between quantities or is it's existence dependent on it being discovered by science? We must always consider the possibility that the definitions we have given a quantity may be limiting ones, and there might be "more" to the quantity in question - we must realize that in science, all we "see" is that which we see, only that which we have been able to define in a constructed equation - we must consider there is much more to reality than we have been able to equate mathematically - thus, even though it seems like we have gone through scientific exploration far and beyond our imaginations, we have a responsibility to always keep an "open mind" and practice critical investigation, as to not settle only with what has been found, but to further explore our existence, unconditionally, until we “find” ourselves within and as it –this within realizing that the laws of physics / nature / reality, govern all of existence, including ourselves, thus, the final answer / solution / equation / understanding will be one that gives us insight to the external reality and the internal reality, equally.

I bring this point up because in the topic of energy we will be going into our internal experience as energy, we will thus, investigate energy from a scientific perspective, as what has been found thus far, as what is "known" in regards to energy, as well as, we will bring up new points to consider, new perspective in regards to energy that have yet to be explored or understood fully. But all in due time.

Back to energy - The natural basic units in which energy is measured are those used for mechanical work; they always are equivalent to a unit of force multiplied by a unit of length (Wikipedia). As I've shown in the dimensional analysis blog I had written, a quantity is defined according to it's dimensions, thus, once a quantity, such as energy, is mathematically defined, it is recognized by specific dimensions as it's identity. Thus, any other formulation of relationships between other quantities, that have the same dimensions as the dimensions of the quantity at hand, are an expression of the same quantity -The quantity of energy, has many different expressions to it, derived from different fields of physics – they differ in some properties and characteristics, though, all expressions of energy have the same dimensions, and can ne converted and expressed as the unit of force multiplied by the unit of length, thus, whether electric, thermal, nuclear, or magnetic energy, their units will be equivalent to the basic unit of energy, known also as mechanical work. Any new relationship found, that will provide a quantity with the same dimensions as that of energy, will be defined as energy as well.

Here, is a hyperlinked list of different forms / expressions of energy within the different fields of physics, for you to explore for yourself - each form is represented with a different mathematical equation / formula, but all can be converted in such a way that they will be expressed by the same units of energy, as mentioned above:
The different forms of energy are generally divided into two main categories: Kinetic Energy, where the energy is a function of the movement of an object or it's particles, and Potential Energy, where the energy is a function of the position of an object within a field. thus, the energy of an object / particle is calculated through it’s observed movement as velocity, and/or it’s observed positions in relation to the field it is in – When we discuss the conservation of energy, we will see that an object’s total energy remains constant though the ration between kinetic to potential energy changes, as the expression of the object’s energy changes back and forth from kinetic to potential energy, this within assuming an ideal and closed system.

In the beginning of this blog I had made a statement that we will be looking at physical energy and non physical energy, this will be clarified further in blogs to come - I find these terms might be a bit confusing, because all physical energy can be seen as non physical as it is not substance per say, but rather a field or a property that effects substance or is held within it - a glimpse of Einstein's famous equation E=mc² , which some of you may be familiar with, sheds some light on this point, as it expresses the link between physical substance as mass, and energy, in other words it shows us that physical substance and energy are actually equal and theoretically interchangeable, though practically speaking they are interchangeable only to some degree. So, we see through Einstein's energy equation that even though energy is not substance per say, it is equal to substance, thus, within this blog series, we will call this energy “physical energy”, whereas non physical energy will be referring to the “mind’s energy”, the energy of the mind as thoughts, emotions and feelings. This field of non physical mind energy is what I'll be exploring, and attempting to connect / relate to the field of energy known and explored by physicist, I will attempt to gain further clarity and understanding of both physical energy and mind energy - within the assumption that all energies follow the same rules, have similar properties to some extent, and exist within / as the same dimensions - thus, understanding the one can give insight into understanding the other.

In the following blogs I will investigate the properties of energy, the energy conservation law, where as the more we know about energy from what has been found scientifically, we will be able to apply this knowledge upon our research of the energy within ourselves as the mind's energy, which will be discussed and investigated further as I proceed with the blogs, and the more we understand the mind's energy we might find new approaches to explore and better understand the physical energy - who knows what lays ahead, so stay tuned.
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