Energy (and Entropy)

The concept of energy has served as a unifying theme in the last few lectures. Energy is arguably the most important conserved quantity in physics. Energy is needed for the classical definition of entropy, which is itself may be seen as the “driver” of physical change. A new method of harnessing energy, the steam engine, formed the basis for the industrial revolution, and new methods will be need to be developed for our society to continue.

Question 1. Why did the concept of “energy” take so long to develop?

How is energy defined (today), within the Newtonian framework? What are its two major forms, and how do they interact? How is energy related to heat, and how did previous theories of heat affect the development of the concept of energy? What experiment related heat and energy, and why was it important?

Sample Solution