Energy: Physics

Authored by: Milivoje M. Kostic

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120046144

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Abstract

The concept and definition of energy are elaborated, as well as different forms and classifications of energy are presented. Energy is a fundamental concept indivisible from matter and space, and energy exchanges or transfers are associated with all processes (or changes), thus indivisible from time. Actually, energy is “the building block” and fundamental property of matter and space, thus a fundamental property of existence. Any and every material system in nature possesses energy. Mass and energy are a manifestation of each other and are equivalent; they have a holistic meaning of mass energy. The structure of any matter and field is “energetic,” meaning active; i.e., photon waves are traveling in space, electrons are orbiting around an atom nucleus or flowing through a conductor, atoms and molecules are in constant rotation, vibration, or random thermal motion, etc. When energy is exchanged or transferred from one system to another, it is manifested as work or heat. In addition, the first law of energy conservation and the second law of energy degradation and entropy generation are presented along with relevant concluding remarks. In summary, energy provides existence, and if exchanged, it has the ability to perform change.

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