10 Greatest Ideas in the History of Science
Energy Is Conserved

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‹‹ DNA Encodes Heritable Information Entropy: Universe Tends Toward Disorder ››

All the energy that currently exists in the universe is all that ever has been and all that ever will be. Energy is neither created nor destroyed (which is why you should never buy a perpetual motion machine), though it can be transformed into mass (and vice versa). This is known as mass-energy equivalence, and every schoolchild knows the equation that describes it: E = mc2.

The story of energy largely begins with Isaac Newton, after whom our blog is named. His three laws of motion got the ball rolling, so to speak, but they did not deal with energy directly; instead, they dealt with force. Eventually, with the help of scientists like Lord Kelvin, physics began to focus on energy. The two most important forms of it are potential energy (stored energy) and kinetic energy (energy of motion). Most other forms of energy, including chemical and electric energy, are simply varying manifestations of potential and kinetic energy. Also, "work" and "heat" are not forms of energy themselves, but are simply methods of transferring it.

Source: Galileo's Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science by Peter Atkins


‹‹ DNA Encodes Heritable Information Entropy: Universe Tends Toward Disorder ››

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