of the ME that we use pours down onto the Earth
from the sun. It is so eager to get here and start heating things up that it zips
through the 93 million miles of space vacuum between us and the sun in eight and
one half minutes. It heats the oceans and land masses and the air. It makes wind
and ocean currents. It evaporates water, forms clouds, and drops rain and snow
all over the place.
The Mysterious Everything
What is this stuff?
happens is caused by it. Whatever is, is made up of it.
You need it. You are made of it.
Everything needs it. Everything is it.
It is everything!
You need it to run, to walk, to sit,
to sleep, "perchance to dream",
to eat, "perchance to belch",
or to make any other rude noises you shouldn't make.
You use it constantly, every moment, awake or asleep.
You can't get mad without it.
You can't get glad without it.
You can't get anything without it.
It makes the wind blow, rain fall, and lightning zap and thunder. It "feeds"
volcanoes and earthquakes. It drives tidal waves, typhoons, and tornadoes.
It powers the universe.
It powers bacteria.
It is the Mysterious
Let's call it ME
Plants, on the land and in the water, absorb the ME
from the sun, then use it
along with water (sent to them by the sun) and carbon dioxide to make more of
themselves. They store the ME
in molecules they make with
the help of ME.
Everything keeps moving
Animals eat the plants. They use the Mysterious
Everything that was
stored in the plant molecules to breathe, move, stay warm, and to make more of
themselves by combining the plant material with water.
Then other animals eat the animals that ate the plants. Again the ME
is used and changed.
Everything keeps moving
and changing. It exists in
Over and over again it is transformed from one form to another. As far as anyone
knows it never goes away, gets less, or gets more. The total
amount always stays the same.
| Though in the great scheme
of things the total amount available to keep making things happen is always getting
less. If we didn't get a new blast of it everyday from the sun we would all run
down and die in an unpleasantly short cold time.
is a type of sugar, a simple carbohydrate that is the fuel that powers the cells
of plants and animals.
Go here to learn more about glucose and where it
Go here to learn how they get their glucose from a food
Huh? How can it stay
the same but become less?
Be patient, all will eventually be revealed. Have you
guessed it by now? What this stuff is?
That's right, what I am calling the Mysterious
for short, is what scientists and engineers rather boringly call ENERGY.
I didn't want to use that common old everyday word. It might cause someone, not
you of course, but someone, to think, "Oh, a boring science subject. I don't
do science. I'll just turn off my brain now."
Well don't. And I make no apologies. Energy
is too wondrous and mind boggling
a subject to have just one name.
a good name for the stuff.
The Everything part is good because everything that happens requires it. There
are no "happenings" without it. And now, thanks to Albert Einstein and
other scientists, we know that matter and energy
are interchangeable. Yeah,
it's the old E=mc² equation. Matter can be converted to energy
and the other way too. Two
different sides of the same coin, you might say. So energy really does appear
to be everything.
The Mysterious part fits too. Yeah we know some things about
a heck of a lot more than we used to know. We can measure
it. Describe how it behaves and predict what it will do.
We can use it in countless ways. But we don't know any more
about what it ultimately really is, or where it came from,
than we did 5,000 years ago. All we really have learned
to do is use mathematical formulas to describe its behavior.
|The ultimate nature and
energy , at least so
far, is for theologians and philosophers to explore and debate. Scientists and
engineers just learn how it behaves and use that knowledge. Scientists use the
knowledge to study and explain our world and the universe. Engineers use the knowledge
of how energy
behaves to make the machines
and devices that make up our modern technological world. If you like mysteries,
you'll love energy.
Listen to what Richard Feynman, one of the best known physicists of the
twentieth century, said about energy, "It is important
to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy is. We do
not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount".
we'll call it the Mysterious
sometimes, just so you can communicate with the less imaginative, or those who
haven't visited this web site (sadder are they), we'll call it Energy - and Matter.
We're going to have to cope with some mind expanding wonders in this MYSTERIOUS
EVERYTHING section (and lots of other places in the famous Flying Turtle
Web Pages), exploring the mystery of energy and following its changing path through
living organisms and human made machines.
If you don't like change, this stuff might make you uneasy. Energy is always changing.
Wait five minutes, blink your eyes, and Mr. Energy is wearing a different hat.
Turn around and the "Great Motivator" has changed its disguise. Look away for
a moment and...well...you get the idea.
The Flow of Energy Through Life.