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How are different forms of energy come into existence?

  1. Jul 18, 2015 #1
    What I understood so far is that whole universe was born from a single point at which there was no time (or all the time was at single point - no present, no future) and then a big bang happened (may be), creating time, energy, mass etc.

    I want to learn physics at much deeper levels. So, I started with trying to know what is energy exactly. Right now I am at fundamentals. I am confused between light and heat energy. How is matter formed i.e, electrons and nucleus etc? How can we distinguish them with photons? Lots of questions to ask!!!

    But can some one answer the first question I have asked?

    Well the question is broad. But I am just looking for some comments or little ideas to start with.

    For Example:

    • Potential energy of any atom is formed against the attraction i.e, Zero when the atom is not attracted by any other atom or at infinitesimal distance and is negative when it is bounded to other atom, positive when it is given some continuous force to overcome the attraction (or else positive p.e is unstable)
    • And kinetic energy is formed by virtue of motion.
    • Mass is property of and can be measured by energy of all the atoms combined together.
    • Now I am struck with what is heat energy and light energy? I think thermal energy is nothing but the K.E. of atoms. And Light energy is when the atoms loose some energy or mass, it converts into light energy i.e, electrons drop to lower energy levels by loosing P.E. Or to say, light energy is energy of a wave that propagates the previous form of energy. And similarly the sound energy.
    • At this point, I am confused of black body radiation concept. Every object absorbs and emits radiation continuously. So the radiations we are talking about is nothing but light energy right?
    So from this, I understood that Light energy is a wave for propagation of it's previous form or energy and heat energy is the kinetic energy of the atoms, right?

    And what is thermal energy? And somewhere I read that the maximum speed that a thermal energy can travel is the speed of sound. What does it mean? Is the thermal energy a wave or a kind of light energy or it is the other name for heat energy?

    Please understand my main intention. I am just trying to properly differentiate different forms of energies and the reason they are existed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2015 #2
    NO that's a common misunderstanding.
    The so called 'single point' or singularity is where our best models so far no longer produce sane results.
    BBT models work all the way back to 1 planck time, which is a tiny fraction of a second after t=0
    There are no applicable models at the moment which describe the state of the Universe actually at t=0.
    However, an object with zero dimensions and infinite density is very unlikely to be a physically real condition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2015
  4. Jul 18, 2015 #3
    Black body radiation is Electromagnetic radiation. A black body is basically a hypothetical object (or just idealized) that absorbes all incoming electromagnetic radiation (i.e it appears black) Every object does emit and absorb energy, but black bodies are idealized bodies that basically do it the best.

    Physicists dont really say "light energy" they say Electromagnetic radiation.

    you said:
    • "Now I am struck with what is heat energy and light energy? I think thermal energy is nothing but the K.E. of atoms. And Light energy is when the atoms loose some energy or mass, it converts into light energy i.e, electrons drop to lower energy levels by loosing P.E. Or to say, light energy is energy of a wave that propagates the previous form of energy. And similarly the sound energy."

    Electromagnetic radiation is not analogous to "sound energy". "Sound Energy" is a mechanical wave - very different from an Electromagnetic wave

    . When physicists talk about energy being "emmitted" by an atom (say upon nuclear decay) or an electron, they usually think of the energy as photons. (there are many posts on here discussing photons - you could look them up)

    Someone else may also choose to go into more depth with these topics. These are very interesting ideed! You should research them more on the internet. I've got to run

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. Jul 18, 2015 #4

    Drakkith

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    Staff: Mentor

    No, that is a misconception. The big bang theory does not say anything about how the universe started or what came 'before', if anything. It only says that the universe was once very dense, very hot, and expanded and cooled from there.

    Forget any 'deeper level'. You need to start at the basics. And by basics I mean things like basic definitions and equations.

    Look at the basic definition of energy. My physics textbook introduces energy as, "A quantity that can be converted from one form to another but cannot be created or destroyed". So, at the most basic level, energy is a quantity that can be measured, can be transferred between objects, and behaves according to certain rules. Every other definition or idea about energy is going to be some sort of variant on this. A good overview of energy and its different forms can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy
     
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