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Author Topic: If Energy is neither created nor used up, where did energy come from?  (Read 13370 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

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If Energy is neither created nor used up, where did energy come from in the first place?

Alan


 

Offline JohnDuffield

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I don't know the answer to this.

LOL, if I did, the wife would be looking at hotels in Stockholm.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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I don't know the answer to this.

LOL, if I did, the wife would be looking at hotels in Stockholm.

Nevertheless , why not give it a bash?
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Because I've thought about it for years, and I can't come up with anything that offers any kind of explanation. I'm not fond of creation ex-nihilo, and I find the universe has always existed  unsatisfactory too. As to where space or energy came from and how the universe began, well, that's where I hit the buffers. I just don't know.
 

Offline RobC

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This question is worst than "Do dark energy/dark matter really exist?

Surely it's in the category of "we will never find out".
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Dark matter and dark energy really exist.

Shucks, that's an easy one!
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: Alan McDougall
If Energy is neither created nor used up, where did energy come from in the first place?
The answer to your question is very easy to understand. To begin to understand your question you need to have a firm grasp of what energy is. I strongly recommend reading The Feynman Lectures on Physics - Volume I by Feynman, Leighton, and Sands, Addison Wesley, (1963)(1989). Read Section 4-1 What is energy? which starts on page 4-1. You can download that text here:
http://book4you.org/book/2047593/a467ef

The website is free to use. Registration is free too but you must register. It's worth it because it's an awesome website. You can download practically any physics text that you'd like from that site. The main page is: http://book4you.org/

However, if you don't want to go through the entire business of registering for the site, downloading the book and reading the section then you can go to my website and read What is Energy?[/b ] at:
http://www.newenglandphysics.org/physics_world/cm/what_is_energy.htm

From that page you'll learn that energy is not a physical entity, i.e. it's not a substance of any kind. Energy is merely a bookkeeping system which keeps track of a set of quantities, the sum of which is a constant of motion. The value of that constant (i.e. the total energy) is not important since in nearly all cases you can change it and not alter the physics (Even in the exceptions you can probably argue that the constant can be set to zero. However, that's an entirely different discussion). The important thing to keep in mind is that there are energies which have a negative value which can cancel those values of energy which are positive.

So the energy never came from anywhere since it's not a physical substance. However there is a real meaning to the values of the energy. But its the total that you're interested and that total for the entire universe can be set to zero.

In The Inflationary Universe, Alan Guth explains why the total energy of the universe is zero. You can read that appendix online. I placed it on my website at:
http://www.newenglandphysics.org/ask_a_physicist/guth_grav_energy.pdf
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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Pmb: I must beg to differ.

Matter is made of energy. This is what Einstein's E=mc² paper is all about (Einstein wrote L instead of E). He made it clear that "the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content". He also said "if a body gives off the energy L in the form of radiation, its mass diminishes by L/c²". And we now know about electron-positron annihilation. That's where two bodies give off all their energy, and then they don't exist any more. Radiation is a form of energy. Energy is not just some book-keeping abstraction.

Also note the Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity where Einstein says "the energy of the gravitational field shall act gravitatively in the same way as any other kind of energy". Gravitational field energy is positive, not negative. The total energy of the universe is not zero. If you let two bodies fall towards one another, conservation of energy applies. You do not end up with less energy than you started off with. Gravity converts potential energy into kinetic energy, and when you dissipate this you're left with a mass deficit. But the books always balance, and they don't add up to zero.   
 

Online jeffreyH

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John that is why you will never be any good at science. You don't understand the simplest of concepts. You are also another cut and paste merchant. Stop spreading disinformation, go away and learn the mathematics. I might then take you seriously. And I don't mean go to google and find some equations to paste here.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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From that page you'll learn that energy is not a physical entity, i.e. it's not a substance of any kind. Energy is merely a bookkeeping system which keeps track of a set of quantities, the sum of which is a constant of motion. The value of that constant (i.e. the total energy) is not important since in nearly all cases you can change it and not alter the physics (Even in the exceptions you can probably argue that the constant can be set to zero. However, that's an entirely different discussion). The important thing to keep in mind is that there are energies which have a negative value which can cancel those values of energy which are positive.

Nonsense!
 

Offline impyre

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John that is why you will never be any good at science. You don't understand the simplest of concepts. You are also another cut and paste merchant. Stop spreading disinformation, go away and learn the mathematics. I might then take you seriously. And I don't mean go to google and find some equations to paste here.
That seems a little combative.
In regards to the OP, I'm certain you already know that no one can offer any evidence on this... so I'll assume you want opinions. Mine is that the energy was provided by an external universe in the creation of a black hole, and that the big bang was the formation of the singularity as viewed from the inside. A space where the laws of physics are starting to break down, so new ones are born. Maybe just a silly fantasy, but it's a cool one. :p
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: Alan McDougall
Nonsense!
Spoken like someone who has no understanding of energy. What I just said is well-known by any well-educated physicist. It's not a personal opinion of mine. You didn't read Feynman's text on energy like I suggested, did you? If you did then you wouldn't have made such a rude remark such as this.

Try actually learning about energy before making anymore ignorant comments like that. E.g. read From Alchemy to Quarks by Sheldon L. Glashow (Won the Nobel Prize for his work on the electroweak interaction). Read Chapter 3 - Energy and Momentum page 104.
Quote
In Hindu myth, Vishnu appears as nine avatars: fish, turtle, pig, monster, dwarf, Krishna, Buddha, and Rama the creator or the destroyer. As a white-winged horse, he will one day destroy Earth. Vishnu has much in common with energy. It, too, is an abstract quantity that is difficult to define because it comes in many guises. It's central property (shared with momentum and angular momentum) is conservation - energy can be neither made nor lost. Our primary source of energy is the Sun, but in a far off time it will fulfill Vishnu's prophecy:
The Sun is destined to explode and engulf the Earth.
The key remarks here are that energy is an abstract quantity and that its difficult to define. In fact its thought that it actually cannot be properly defined.

More later.
 

Offline PmbPhy

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The following is from chapter 4 of The Feynman Lectures - Volume I.
Quote
4-1 What is energy?

In this chapter, we begin our more detailed study of the different aspects of physics, having finished our description of things in general. To illustrate the ideas and the kind of reasoning that might be used in theoretical physics, we shall now examine one of the most basic laws of physics, the conservation of energy. There is a fact, or if you wish, a law, governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this law—it is exact so far as we know. The law is called the conservation of energy. It states that there is a certain quantity, which we call energy, that does not change in the manifold changes which nature undergoes. That is a most abstract idea, because it is a mathematical principle; it says that there is a numerical quantity which does not change when something happens. It is not a description of a mechanism, or anything concrete; it is just a strange fact that we can calculate some number and when we finish watching nature go through her tricks and calculate the number again, it is the same. (Something like the bishop on a red square, and after a number of moves—details unknown—it is still on some red square. It is a law of this nature.) Since it is an abstract idea, we shall illustrate the meaning of it by an analogy.

Imagine a child, perhaps “Dennis the Menace,” who has blocks which are absolutely indestructible, and cannot be divided into pieces. Each is the same as the other. Let us suppose that he has 28 blocks. His mother puts him with his 28 blocks into a room at the beginning of the day. At the end of the day, being curious, she counts the blocks very carefully, and discovers a phenomenal law—no matter what he does with the blocks, there are always 28 remaining! This continues for a number of days, until one day there are only 27 blocks, but a little investigating shows that there is one under the rug—she must look everywhere to be sure that the number of blocks has not changed. One day, 4-1 however, the number appears to change—there are only 26 blocks. Careful investigation indicates that the window was open, and upon looking outside, the other two blocks are found. Another day, careful count indicates that there are 30 blocks! This causes considerable consternation, until it is realized that Bruce
came to visit, bringing his blocks with him, and he left a few at Dennis’ house. After she has disposed of the extra blocks, she closes the window, does not let Bruce in, and then everything is going along all right, until one time she counts and finds only 25 blocks. However, there is a box in the room, a toy box, and the mother goes to open the toy box, but the boy says “No, do not open my toy box,” and screams. Mother is not allowed to open the toy box. Being extremely curious, and somewhat ingenious, she invents a scheme! She knows that a block
weighs three ounces, so she weighs the box at a time when she sees 28 blocks, and it weighs 16 ounces. The next time she wishes to check, she weighs the box again, subtracts sixteen ounces and divides by three. She discovers the following:

(number of blocks seen) + [ (weight of box) − 16 ounces]/3 ounces  =  constant.    (4.1)

There then appear to be some new deviations, but careful study indicates that the dirty water in the bathtub is changing its level. The child is throwing blocks into the water, and she cannot see them because it is so dirty, but she can find out how many blocks are in the water by adding another term to her formula. Since the original height of the water was 6 inches and each block raises the water a quarter of an inch, this new formula would be:

(number of blocks seen) +[ (weight of box) − 16 ounces]/3 ounces
+ [ (height of water) − 6 inches]/1/4 inch = constant.                                                            (4.2)

In the gradual increase in the complexity of her world, she finds a whole series of terms representing ways of calculating how many blocks are in places where she is not allowed to look. As a result, she finds a complex formula, a quantity which has to be computed, which always stays the same in her situation.

What is the analogy of this to the conservation of energy? The most remarkable aspect that must be abstracted from this picture is that there are no blocks. Take away the first terms in (4.1) and (4.2) and we find ourselves calculating more or less abstract things. The analogy has the following points. First, when we are calculating the energy, sometimes some of it leaves the system and goes away, or sometimes some comes in. In order to verify the conservation of energy, we must be careful that we have not put any in or taken any out. Second, the energy has a large number of different forms, and there is a formula for each one. These are: gravitational energy, kinetic energy, heat energy, elastic energy, electrical energy, chemical energy, radiant energy, nuclear energy, mass energy. If we total up the formulas for each of these contributions, it will not change except for energy going in and out.

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. It is not that way. However, there are formulas for calculating some numerical quantity, and when we add it all together it gives “28”—always the same number. It is an abstract thing in that it does not tell us the mechanism or the reasons for the various formulas.
Again, as I keep saying, energy is an abstract thing just as Feynman agrees.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Energy is just vibrating particles left over fro the big bang!

The primordial energy has being dissipated, by the relentless progress of increasing entropy,  into the universe which is cooling down as particles become much less active in the near absolute zero of the dying universe.

Heat is nothing more than particles vibrating from a source of the big bang.

When fundamental particles stop moving, then at absolute zero nothing will ever happen again

Alan
 

Online jeffreyH

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John that is why you will never be any good at science. You don't understand the simplest of concepts. You are also another cut and paste merchant. Stop spreading disinformation, go away and learn the mathematics. I might then take you seriously. And I don't mean go to google and find some equations to paste here.
That seems a little combative.
In regards to the OP, I'm certain you already know that no one can offer any evidence on this... so I'll assume you want opinions. Mine is that the energy was provided by an external universe in the creation of a black hole, and that the big bang was the formation of the singularity as viewed from the inside. A space where the laws of physics are starting to break down, so new ones are born. Maybe just a silly fantasy, but it's a cool one. :p

Well John says things that are just not true. Then he will accuse those pointing out his errors of gaining their knowledge via 'pop science magazines'. Of course without any shred of evidence to suggest where others learn about physics. Which is a pursuit that John avoids like the plague. Just ask him some probing questions and you'll soon get the idea.
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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That seems a little combative.
In regards to the OP, I'm certain you already know that no one can offer any evidence on this...
It isn't a little combative, impyre. It's dishonest. See my post above where I referred to Einstein, twice. It was Einstein who said radiation is a form of energy and the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content. Google on conversion of matter to energy. This is what E=mc² is all about. Energy is real, matter is made of it. You are made of it.
« Last Edit: 02/06/2016 22:45:37 by JohnDuffield »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: Alan McDougall
Energy is just vibrating particles left over fro the big bang!
Which clearly shows that you have no idea what translational kinetic energy or potential energy is (neither of which alone is associated with vibration). A particle moving at constant speed, like most of the particles making up the interstellar gas in the universe, has kinetic energy, none of which is vibrating.

After all this time posting in this forum I find it amazing how little you know about the basics of physics.
 

Online jeffreyH

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That seems a little combative.
In regards to the OP, I'm certain you already know that no one can offer any evidence on this...
It isn't a little combative, impyre. It's dishonest. See my post above where I referred to Einstein, twice. It was Einstein who said radiation is a form of energy and the mass of a body is a measure of its energy-content. Google on conversion of matter to energy. This is what E=mc² is all about. Energy is real, matter is made of it. You are made of it.

So you can post links and mention famous physicists. Yet you can't even answer a simple question on the FLRW metric. You posted the link on it to support a point you were making. Do you understand it or not? It is a simple question. You can put this to bed right now. Show everybody that you are not just smoke and mirrors.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Quote from: Alan McDougall
Energy is just vibrating particles left over fro the big bang!
Which clearly shows that you have no idea what translational kinetic energy or potential energy is (neither of which alone is associated with vibration). A particle moving at constant speed, like most of the particles making up the interstellar gas in the universe, has kinetic energy, none of which is vibrating.

After all this time posting in this forum I find it amazing how little you know about the basics of physics.

Energy is exactly how I described it, and my knowledge of physics is not "BASIC"  THE VIBRATIONS OF FUNDAMENTAL PARTICLES, THAT WERE SET IN MOTION AT THE MOMENT THAT OUR UNIVERSE EMERGED OUT OF THE BIG BANG SINGULARITY

As an analogy think of a string of a musical instrument, you pluck it giving it energy to vibrate, thus; you are the source of the energy that made the string vibrate and "You are a real material thing"

Now replace yourself with the big bang which is the source of all energy that exists in all its forms in the universe, it is all still in the universe but dissipated due to the increasing entropy. You no longer play a part in you have plucked the string and left it vibrating until the vibration stopped.

To then go further to find the true source of all energy we must find the prime mover using increasing regressing until we are left with God as pure energy, the real thing, because God is light (energy) and in him is no darkness whatsoever.

I know there is no way to capture an amount of hypothetical energy and put it into a container, just as in my example we cant put you in container and call you bottle of pure energy. You represent the Big Bang, plucking the string of the universe setting all things in motion!
 

Offline agyejy

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https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/matter-and-energy-a-false-dichotomy/ <- Matter and energy are very different things. Matter is a thing and energy is a property of things. Thus things can be made of matter but they cannot be made of energy.

https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/mass-and-energy/ <- Mass is a property and energy is a property and there is a relation between mass, energy, and momentum but the aren't equivilent.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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Physicists define energy as the capacity of a physical system to do work. It exists in several forms such as heat, mechanical energy, light, electrical energy etc

According to the Law of Conservation of energy, the total  energy of a system remains constant, though energy may transfer into another form.

Einstein realised that matter is actually energy in another form and his famous formula E=mc2 has been demonstrated to hold true. In other words Energy equals mass times speed of light squared.
 
So, where did energy come from? This is actually asking the question :Where did our universe come from? I would say it came from the Creator God who planned it and brought it into being. Since we are told in Scriptures that God exists before the universe, we can conclude that he used some of his energy to create all the energy of our universe. How did he do that? We can only speculate but I like to suggest that

God exists in a Timeless Dimension that pulsates with energy of that Timeless Dimension. Our universe is locked into time and so I like to imagine that the Creator locked a very precise amount of this timeless energy into time, so creating the universe in a flash of immense energy.
 
Scientific discoveries are showing that for our universe to exist there had to be a large number of extremely finely-tuned factors, such as the relationship between the known forces of nature. If any one of these factors was only fractionally different we would not exist. Therefore, to my mind the Big Bang Creation is a wonderful description of the moment when God locked some of the Timeless Dimension energy into the limitations of time.

Personally I see no conflict between the Big Bang and God.
 

(Give a better candidate for God as the source of all energy?)
 

Offline Colin2B

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https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/matter-and-energy-a-false-dichotomy/ <- Matter and energy are very different things. Matter is a thing and energy is a property of things. Thus things can be made of matter but they cannot be made of energy.

https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/mass-and-energy/ <- Mass is a property and energy is a property and there is a relation between mass, energy, and momentum but the aren't equivilent.
Alan,
These are really worth reading. I'm a great fan of Matt Strassler, he doesn't use the pop science terminology that seems to dog physics reporting in the popular science press.
Also worth reading are these articles on PmbPhy's web site http://www.newenglandphysics.org/other/other.htm
 

Offline Alan McDougall

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https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/matter-and-energy-a-false-dichotomy/ <- Matter and energy are very different things. Matter is a thing and energy is a property of things. Thus things can be made of matter but they cannot be made of energy.

https://profmattstrassler.com/articles-and-posts/particle-physics-basics/mass-energy-matter-etc/mass-and-energy/ <- Mass is a property and energy is a property and there is a relation between mass, energy, and momentum but the aren't equivilent.
Alan,
These are really worth reading. I'm a great fan of Matt Strassler, he doesn't use the pop science terminology that seems to dog physics reporting in the popular science press.
Also worth reading are these articles on PmbPhy's web site http://www.newenglandphysics.org/other/other.htm

By the way I was a member of Pmbphy's site but he did not like anyone challenging him and dominated it like a dictator.

As for the link, thank you, I think everyone in this thread should read the article, not just me although I admit I am an engineer not a physicist, but a person interested in learning as much as possible as advanced physics at this late stage of my rather protracted life span of almost 76 years young.

Yes compared to some of you, my understanding of the deep maths in physics is basic, however when compared to the average Joe on the high street it is highly advanced.

What we do not need is to be mocked or accused of dishonesty when our take on a subject is wrong.

Alan
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 20:44:19 by Alan McDougall »
 

Offline JohnDuffield

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...I'm a great fan of Matt Strassler, he doesn't use the pop science terminology that seems to dog physics reporting in the popular science press...
Unfortunately Matt Strassler's article is at odds with what Einstein said and what E=mc² is all about: radiation is a form of energy, and matter is made of energy. IMHO you can confirm the latter for yourself by considering Compton scattering:

Image courtesy of Rod Nave's hyperphysics

When you perform Compton scattering, some of the photon's E=hc/λ wave energy is converted into electron kinetic energy. If you repeat the process and perform another Compton scatter using the scattered photon, then another and another and another, in the limit you remove all of the photon wave energy, whereupon there's no wave left. The photon has then been entirely converted into electron kinetic energy. This is why light can be viewed as *just* kinetic energy, or why light is a "form of energy".  The important thing to note is that in pair production you can convert the photon into an electron and a positron, so you can say the electron is quite literally made from kinetic energy. You made matter out of energy. The electron is made out of the same thing that causes electrons to move. Then when you annihilate the electron it with a positron you get two photons, which are just kinetic energy, and you're back where you're started. 

NB: I would add that IMHO it's better to speak of energy-momentum rather than energy alone. You can think of energy as a distance-based measure of energy-momentum, and momentum as a time-based measure of energy-momentum. They're two sides of the same coin in that you can't reduce the kinetic energy of the cannonball in space without reducing its momentum. 
« Last Edit: 05/06/2016 17:18:30 by JohnDuffield »
 

Offline PmbPhy

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Quote from: Colin2B
These are really worth reading. I'm a great fan of Matt Strassler, he doesn't use the pop science terminology that seems to dog physics reporting in the popular science press.
Also worth reading are these articles on PmbPhy's web site http://www.newenglandphysics.org/other/other.htm
Although Dr. Strassler and I don't agree on everything I do admire him. His website is really good, i.e. very informative and well-written. Thanks for the kudos regarding my website. Did you read the following webpage:
http://www.newenglandphysics.org/physics_world/cm/what_is_energy.htm

Feynman and myself share the same concept of energy. I quoted him in reply #12. Did you read it or my webpage above? There are many journal articles about this subject in the physics literature. If anybody wants to read any of those articles all they have to do is go to: http://booksc.org/ and type What is energy? into the search window, click "search" and then a list of articles will appear. Do a search using the phrase "What is energy" and you'll see that 8 items will be listed.

Now Alan and John have a list of physics journal articles to read on the subject of greatest importance in this thread. Do you think that either of them will take our advice and read one of them? :)
 

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