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Translations of Encyclopedia about Physics

 

Energy - The Basic Concept in Natural Science and Technology

Fundamental physical laws state that all mass is made from energy. There is also a firm rule that, within a closed system, such as our world, there is a given amount of energy which cannot be created nor destroyed but rather only transformed from one form into another.

The differing forms of energy, such as mechanical, electrical, electromagnetic, kinetic, thermal or nuclear energy, are interchangeable and can be transformed between each other. At the same time, only a part of the primary energy can be transformed into so-called secondary energy. A large part of primary energy is lost or wasted as unusable energy, for example in the form of wasted heat, to the surrounding environment. It is possible to change secondary energy back into its original state but even this process is subject to transformation losses. Energy losses are even noticeable during the transport of energy and such losses are referred to as transport losses.

During all transformation processes, we strive to maintain the energy losses associated with it to a minimum. On the one hand, we try to utilise energy to the greatest degree possible where, on the other hand, the transformation losses can also damage electronic and mechanical equipment, as such lowering their working potential.

The transformation from one form of energy into another is part of our daily lives. For example, a light bulb transforms the electrical energy passing through it into light radiation emitted into its surrounding environment. However, the basis of many kinds of energy transformation, such as with the partitioning of nuclei, can be much more complex physical or chemical processes.

All our economies are based on the use of primary and secondary energies. Without different forms of energy, no machinery could exist in industry, commerce, transportation, nor even in the home. Our modern world would simply not exist without energy.

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