Energy Levels

A Question and And Answer From Our Group

“What do you mean by high energy and low energy? Isn’t the sun made of nuclear energy?”

The question from one of our group relates to the book in progress and especially the most recent posts on the subject of energy. Another reader, sent me a fine reference to understand the second law of thermodynamics, written by a chemist. Whoever wrote it thinks that the second law is: “The biggest, most powerful, most general idea in all of science.” Check it out. It’s good reading, and big ideas are great fun once we understand them.

Remember the second law says that “high energy” (we could say more concentrated energy as they do on the web site) can change to low (less concentrated) energy but not the other way around. They use the example of a hot frying pan that can release its heat energy but can not get it back again without someone doing the work of adding energy back into the system.

As always, our scientific words and laws are meant to explain the power and reality of The Creation, not the other way around. Therefore we must look at what happens in order to determine what is a higher energy or a lower energy. If a type of energy can change into a different form of energy, then the first is a higher form and the second is a lower form.

So we know which type of energy is higher energy by observation. Another way to observe is to see what kind of energy is given off when a substance degrades (for example what kind of energy is given off spontaneously as the sun burns). These include:

Light energy can not spontaneously revert to nuclear; heat energy can’t change back to either light or nuclear energy. There are many more forms of energy. We particularly focus on light energy because it is the source of organic energy — and organic energy drives the ecosystem.

The ecosystem is uniquely able to capture the energy from light, that it then uses to create organic energy. Only in the life form of the earth ecosystem, so far as we know, is energy captured in organic molecules which are then used to transfer energy throughout the system in a controlled fashion. The controlled flow of energy throughout the ecosystem is accomplished by the metabolic processes of cells, organisms and ecosystems. Light energy is a higher form than organic energy, which is a higher form than heat energy.

2 Responses

  1. […] molecules and energy. So for now, we will make one point of chemistry that matches the point we made recently about the second law of […]

  2. […] 3. The program PBS was advertising is about solar power. The answer is: Solar power can be used to generate electricity and heat (see above re A Question from our Group) but not food (organic energy). It is not the sun that can save the living earth ecosystem. The living earth ecosystem was doing fine until we unbalanced it. 4. The metabolism of the living earth ecosystem is limited by photosynthesis, not by availability of sunlight. It is limited by the availability of organisms that can convert the light energy of the sun into organic energy of food. The only thing that can save the living earth ecosystem is to restore a sustainable balance between the amount of organic energy that the ecosystem can produce and the amount of growth that goes on within the ecosystem (that includes biological and economic growth […]

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