Energy Cycle Essay

Pages: 3 (1015 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Transportation

Conservation of Energy

Conserving Energy: It's Not Just a Good Idea, It's the Law

It is an established physical fact that energy is not "used up" in the way that is often thought. Energy, like mass, cannot actually be destroyed but merely converted into different forms. In this way, the energy (and mass) that exists in the universe is constantly conserved; there is no change in the overall amount, but only in the forms that this energy takes. This is known as the law of the conservation of energy, and is one of the fundamental bases upon which the fields of thermodynamics, astro- and nuclear physics, and indeed the general science of physics are built. Einstein's famous equation E=MC^2 deals, in part, with the conversion of mass to energy and possibly vice versa, but the overall amount of these twinned aspects of the universe can never be altered.

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This is directly related to the first law of thermodynamics, which states that "the change in internal energy of a system is equal to the heat added to the system minus the work done by the system" (Nave 2005). One very clear example of this is the internal combustion engine found in the majority of the world's automobiles. The engine works by compressing liquid fuel (i.e. gasoline), which forces certain molecular bonds apart and causes a chemical reaction. The energy stored in these bonds is not destroyed by the combustion process, but rather is converted into kinetic energy which moves the pistons of the engine and, through other mechanical interventions, creates the forward motion of the car. But this forward motion does not account for all of the energy that originally existed in the chemical bonds of the fuel -- a large amount of this energy is converted to heat by the process. This is why cars have radiators, to draw this heat away from the engine and other vital parts of the car. The total amount of energy from the fuel does not change, but is changed into work (motion) and heat.

Essay on Energy Cycle Assignment

An even simpler instance of the conservation of energy using a purely mechanical example is a standard game of pool. The only type of energy at work on a pool table, aside from friction, is kinetic energy, or motion. The cue stick is given motion and collides qith the cue ball. The energy of the stick does not disappear, but rather is transferred to the cue ball, which begins to roll across the table. It (hopefully) collides with another ball -- and here is where things really get interesting. Depending on the intent and skill of the pool player, the cue ball might stop, or might bounce off in another direction, while the ball it strikes moves off on its own path, having absorbed some or most of the cue ball's energy. At no point does the amount of energy decrease, it is simply transferred from ball to ball. The balls do slow down due to friction with the table and the air around them, but… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Energy Cycle.  (2009, June 25).  Retrieved August 12, 2020, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/energy-cycle/4840260

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"Energy Cycle."  25 June 2009.  Web.  12 August 2020. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/energy-cycle/4840260>.

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"Energy Cycle."  Essaytown.com.  June 25, 2009.  Accessed August 12, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/energy-cycle/4840260.