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Elementary questions on energy

  1. May 27, 2005 #1
    Well my chemistry lecturers have always explained to me (in introductory chemistry) that most chemical reactions occur due to the components desiring to acquire a more stable state.

    My high school physics teacher explained to me that when you put metal in fire it heats up and later releases the heat as energy has a tendancy to dissipate.

    I dont know if the above to statements are completely correct however I have been taught them and know no better. I base my questions entirely on statements such as the above:

    Why does energy manifest the observed nature of dissipation from a system.

    Can the phenomena that is "a decay of a system based on the relative influx and efflux of energy through it" (I am presuming this is entropy) be reversed. Considering that I was taught matter is indeed a condensation or accumulated form of energy why would than an added exposure to energy cause its degredation (matter in this instance is with reference to it being the system, i.e. the tungsten filament in a light bulb burning out).

    I would further define energy as being the potential of existance or the potential of cause rather than the commonly accepted potential to work phrase. So an influx of energy would mean and increased potential of existance of the system, however energy still dissipates and causes the observed "chaos".

    Ok now my final question, since matter is just a condensed form of energy what would than cause it to have relative states (i.e. valence or stability) as I would have presumed an accumulation of the same substance (i.e. energy) would have no difference amongst one another. What is this concept of stability and how does it arise?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2005 #2


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    I think for the last part, you got it confused just like someoen else i talked to got it confused. I had to talk to one of my professors about it and its not necessarily "condensed energy" as you would suspect it is based on our real world experiences. He told me you can't condense light like you would a can where you just make its volume as small as possible and as dense as possible. I actually dont wanna even try to explain because he said you have to be very careful how you word it and i might just screw up the wording myself. Someone here whos more knowledgable can do a better job at this question though :D
  4. May 27, 2005 #3
    Hmm see I am thinking that the whole concept has loopholes, that is why I wanna know this concept of "stability" and how energy contributes to it in the atomic model. I hope I am phrasing this coherently because usually these things make sense to me but when I try defining or expressing it people dont get a single word lol.
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