Physics is the study of matter and its motions. Energy is the idea of propellant motion behind manifest matter. This imagined conception takes many forms.
At every instant sensation detects matter: stuff which takes up space. The perception of transformation in material objects derives from memory: the current state as compared to a moment before.
Energy is the idea of a force behind shifts in matter. Energy does not exist.
All that does exist is in the present moment. As such, all that can be sensed we call “matter.”
To say that we feel “energy” is our mind ascribing change coming from the sensory organs and cells in our bodies: an imagining of dynamics via the matter that comprises our body.
Any sensed change is a product of comparative memories – in calculus, the 1st derivative. The intensity of energy is how abruptly the sensed matter is changing – the 2nd derivative.
The form of energy an object possesses depends upon the way it behaves. Like energy, behavior is a merely a mental attribution of changing states.
Mechanical energy is of an object in motion. That movement is called kinetic energy, which may be contrasted to potential energy: the imagined latent energy owing to relations between objects, or between an object and space itself.
The story of an employed bow and arrow illustrates forms of energy. An archer draws a bow’s string back, transferring chemical energy from the archer’s muscles into elastic potential energy within the bent limb of the bow. Mechanical potential energy stored in a deformation is considered elastic. Releasing the string transforms the bow’s elastic potential energy into the kinetic energy of the arrow in flight.
Rest energy is the potential energy of an object inertly sitting still – an inherent energy from its sheer heft of mass.
Sound is a product of sonic energy, produced by vibrations traveling through the air. This percussive effect is a not considered a form of mechanical energy because air is not thought to be an object. Sound as vibrational variances is an audible example of that fact that energy invariably has a wavelike quality.
The attraction between cosmological bodies is termed gravitational energy. Gravity is the most pronounced example of the fact that energy necessarily involves a reference frame. Einstein’s theories of relativity were devised upon the fact that physics are subjectively perceived, as contrasted to the common physics confusion that the world is objective, subject to “laws” of Nature. Further, Einsteinian relativity found that gravitational energy emanates from the intrinsic relationship between matter and spacetime: an innate cosmic form of energy.
Heat is thermal energy. The appearance, disappearance, and transfer of heat comprise the physics of thermodynamics. Mechanical energy and thermal energy were the conceptualizations that drove the evolution of classical physics into the 17th century, before electricity was tamed and thereby subject to comprehension via experimentation.
Energies are attributed by both effect and cause. The ideas behind mechanical energy are of effect (kinetic energy) and cause (potential energy). Thermodynamics is more a story about symptoms, with things heating up or growing cold.
Magnetic energy is the mysterious force that makes metal objects stick to refrigerators and compass needles point north. Magnetism has been marveled at since antiquity. Magnet derives from the Greek world for lodestone, a naturally magnetized mineral.
Magnetic energy seems quite distinct from the jolts delivered by electrical energy. But their impetus is supposedly the same. Physics has long aimed at a theory which unifies all forces.
In 1873, Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell speculated that magnetism and electricity acted from the same force; thus arose electromagnetism. Electromagnetism flows between poles: regions of attraction. In being attractively compelled, electromagnetism facilely resembles gravity, albeit at much different scales.
That there is always a source of energy gives rise to the idea of force. Force embodies the paradigm of causality: that something gives rise to effects.
In physics, force is the source and porter in one. The idea of force reverberated in antiquity. Modern quantum physicists didn’t like the connotations of emergence behind the word force, so they settled on the nondenominational pablum of “interaction” to label what goes on in the name of energy.
Though electricity directly owes to electrons, ethereal light is the supposed force carrier of (ahem, interaction behind) electromagnetism. According to conventional physics, the wavy energies that vitalize the vast electromagnetic spectrum supply the forces that power all of ambient (observable) existence. Radiant energy is the potential energy stored in the fields propagated by electromagnetic radiation.
Light is the vibrational bandwidth (range) of the electromagnetic spectrum by which we can see. The rest of the spectrum is dark to us, but just as potent, if not more so. Powered by microwaves, science ovens demonstrate that.
Chemical energy is electrical energy at the molecular level. Ionization energy is the energy of electrons in their relations with atoms. Nuclear energy is the powerful force of atomic nuclei staying together or breaking up.
Lacking an atom to keep them happy, neutrons decay. Protons are made of sterner stuff – they stay stable for an eternity. Protons and neutrons are supposedly composed of the same 2 quarks (up & down), albeit in distinct ratios. A proton has a single up quark and a pair of down quarks. A neutron has the proton’s complement: 1 down, 2 up. Whereas protons are steadfast, neutrons apparently have a force of divorce within them.
A quark is the theorized elementary particle of which all matter is made. Quarks combine to form composite particles called hadrons. Hadrons are kept together by gluons via quantum chromodynamic binding energy. This mouthful of an energy is strong stuff indeed.
That we feel energy, and ourselves are energetic, points out the most important energy to us: vital energy. Complex chemical configurations are alive only because they possess a mystical vitality which science has yet to come close to putting its grubby finger on. Without vital energy the exhibition of existence would fail for lack of witnesses.
Despite experimental evidence to the contrary, the energy which powers existence is assumed by physicists to be finite: transformable but unchangeable in total oomph. The 1st law of thermodynamics is this “conservation” of energy. This axiom is necessary for the simplistic equations physicists use to be understandable. Otherwise, these proximate functions would leak the untenable goo of infinity, which is a concept beyond both numerics and comprehension.
Physics has theorized and demonstrated that matter is itself a form of energy. Oddly, this matter energy goes unnamed in physics.
As German physicist Max Born said in 1954: “theoretical physics is actually philosophy.” Philosophy is the art of forming a consistent set of definitions.
Nature is by definition the exhibition of existence. The seminal point of matter and all its energies is that Nature is a show, appreciable only by it being observed. Matter does not exist without frames of reference: aware consciousnesses.
Energy cannot be conceived without minds to make sense of experience. Energy in Nature requires mental energy to make an appearance.
Energies are named by their diversity. These manifold phenomena, produced by localized fields, are all under sway of a universal field, which itself localizes.
The ultimate form of energy is the one that powers all others: coherence. Generating the polymorphous forces is this universal singularity. Multiplicity springs from a unity. Coherence is indisputable by the fact that Nature at every scale and in every relation exhibits a form of order, even if hidden by daedal complexity.