8. WHAT IS ENERGYPrint PDF
Is the photon bringing the image of a distant star which we register here on Earth really the same photon the star has emitted? Do photons really move? Are they not still and we only think that they are rushing along?
Energy, just like time and space, cannot be observed.
Since we cannot grip it, we take on our way not energy itself but the products which have picked it up from the environment and have stored it - and our digestive tract is able to retrieve it from them.
The Universe can be compared to a “magician’s” hat into which things disappear or are changed into something else. Or to a bucket full of water. Sometimes there is hard ice in it, at others liquid on which ships made of ice can float, and yet at others nothing that we can see – there is vapour.
It is energy which is the cause of all movement and change.
The prevailing opinion is that it was “given” to the Universe once and for all when the Universe was created. From that time, the quantity of energy in the Universe is unchangeable. It looks as if, at the beginning, “somebody” “pushed” (or set moving) one element, or all those existing at the time, and these, in turn, “pushed” others. This initial quantity of energy is transferred by particles to other particles, like touching someone in a game of tag.
If this is the case, we ought to take it that the Universe is a closed system and behaves like a machine which nobody has constructed to this day and which, so scientists say, cannot be constructed on Earth. I have in mind the perpetuum mobile. In an insulated system (closed system), according to the laws of energy, no energy is lost, only changes form. The Universe would, therefore, behave like a self-powering machine in which there would be eternal movement.
But the Universe is expanding.
Is the expansion of the Universe caused by the energy stored in it?
Or is the Universe not “powered” by energy coming from without?
Surely there is no-one who can “calculate” the amount of energy in the Universe now and in the past, and say that it has not grown.
Of course, the thought of “how” this additional energy should have been supplied immediately comes to mind. From without the system of the Universe or perhaps “from within” (if such internal boundaries of space exist, a question I asked before)?
What would happen to this additional energy?
Of course, it could be used to speed up the movement of every particle, something we would not notice since our clocks would also be moving faster.
It could also be “assigned” for further constructing the Universe, increasing its volume. For the expansion of space.
If, however, we were to take it that the Universe is not a closed system at all, the explanation of what happens to the additional energy would doubtlessly be easier. The energy could be emitted to the outside.
The concept of a Universe “powered” by energy from without would be disturbing if it turned out that the particles which go to make up atoms need a constant influx of energy in order to survive. This would mean that, if this powering up stopped, the Universe could “be extinguished”.
Could the Universe be “turned off” like a television set or a computer by its user?
The life which existed on this screen would cease to exist?
Could all the elements of the Universe go out in one moment?
Deprived of energy, electrons would cease to circulate the atoms’ nuclei, particles would stop interacting with each other (the forces unifying atoms would not operate, the force of gravity would not exist), and matter would, therefore, probably “disperse” into space.
If it is, however, true that matter is a form of energy, it would “wither” and be obliterated. If it is true that space, too, is a form of energy, it also would be obliterated.
What is energy?
What are the forces operating in the Universe?
We construct various appliances. We equip them with a plan of action called a programme. For such a programme to start these appliances also need power, a supply of energy.
The particles making up the Universe have similar properties; they constitute a plan of action (programme) which is also set into motion by energy. It is enough to change the energy a little and the programme can start running.
I questioned this earlier but it looks as if every little particle “knows” when and how to “behave”.
Once more I use water as an example. Every one of its particles “remembers” at what temperature it is to “change” from a liquid to a solid substance, ice. If the temperature falls to 0°C each particle will reveal a physical and calculable force in order to realise this “knowledge” (programme), destroying obstacles which stand in the way of the transformation. If this obstacle is a hard vessel, the freezing water will burst it. The glass will crack. The particles which make up water are probably “passive” and the changes in its structure are caused by other particles bringing in or taking energy from them.
Is the transfer of energy only the starting up of one programme by another?
What is the “cause” of energy transfer?
I am asking here whether the energy is given over by one object to another, or whether it is “taken” by the second object from the first?
Is the transfer of energy not a form of one object “taking” energy from another?
Does every particle not strive to “take” energy from others in order to realise “its own” programme?
On the one hand, energy coming from without the particle is able to start up a programme within it; yet, on the other hand, we know that particles possessing mass can be converted into energy (A. Einsteins’s famous formula E = mc²). They are, therefore, as though stored energy.
Since energy can be converted into mass, is it possible for all the energy which exists to be converted into mass? Or all existing mass into energy?
Could a Universe exist where there is only energy (without mass) or only mass (without energy)?
A Universe where only mass existed would be still. But could such a “formation” exist at all since no forces (e.g. that of gravity), which, after all, are produced by energy, would be unifying it?
And could only energy exist, since there would be no objects in which it could be “stored”?
Is, therefore, this famous formula merely a simplification? Or, could energy also be stored in other elements of the reality surrounding us, for instance space?
And since mass can be converted into energy and each of us is made of particles which possess mass then, in fact, isn’t each of us just a form of energy?
But what is energy?
Is energy only a sort of signal?
Could particles which, in our opinion, carry energy only be carrying signals? Particles possessing mass, therefore, would only be swellings of such signals, a tangle of which would create a new quality, a programme?
But what would such a signal be? Only an induction?
Would then the signal only be a wave?
From our human point of view forces released by energy are destructive.
Everything is subject to destruction!
Whatever we create is subject to disintegration. From a castle built by a child on a sandy beach to any edifice whatsoever erected by adults. Sand castles fall apart first, castles made of stone much later. Throughout our lives we are constantly repairing and refurbishing objects which are falling apart. We paint and straighten fences, change the slates on roofs, remove dirt from furniture, cars and clothes. Even so, rust eats away at the bodywork of our cars, plaster crumbles from the facades of buildings, mechanisms break.
This is annoying.
We devote an enormous part of our lives in recreating and preserving what “used to be”. What we once constructed.
Is this belief of destruction, however, not only a subjective feeling humans have?
Or maybe it is us, all living beings, who bring destruction into the existing World and the forces of nature are only trying to bring it back to its previous state? Bring it to order?
Every town built by us is an ordered structure only in our own point of view. From “nature’s point of view” it is an alien structure like a boil on a body which needs to be removed.
Dust on a table and leaves on the road are natural elements of a landscape and it only seems to us that the table is “dirty” and the road “littered” and that the litter has to be removed. That is indeed how they are supposed to be!
Are we, all living beings, not the objects which introduce a state of disorder into the Universe?
Is Life not an element which leads to the destruction of the Universe?
Not a creative element of it at all?
Living organisms can exist only in a defined range of temperature and pressure, after other additional conditions such as, for instance, the presence of water, have been fulfilled. Man, I believe, would not survive if he permanently had to function in temperatures over 50°C or below minus 50°C.
This is a very narrow margin of conditions. In many regions of the Universe, temperature rises many times above these conditions.
Why is there so little Life in the expanse of Universe known to us? Why does Nature not create conditions for it to exist elsewhere? Earth is only a tiny area of the entire Solar System and most of it is devoid of Life. Its duration is short compared to the length of time the System has existed.
Why can Life exist only within such a narrow range (margin) of conditions such as temperature and pressure?
Why does this narrow margin of conditions appear only in such a small area of our Solar System?
Is Nature reducing to a minimum the conditions in which Life can exist?
And that’s not all. Observing the history of our planet up until now, we learn that most of the species of living organisms have become extinct. Scientists say that a comet might hit the Earth at any moment or a meteorite capable of exterminating Earth, and if this doesn’t happen then after the Sun has “burnt out”, Life will certainly die anyway.
Does Nature care in the least whether any form of Life whatsoever exists?
Are we an undesirable form of energy?