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...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: Ted King
Date: May 15, 2014 10:50AM
[www.phy.davidson.edu]

A quote from Richard Feynman:

Quote

There is a fact, or if you wish, a law governing all natural phenomena that are known to date. There is no known exception to this law – it is exact so far as we know. The law is called the conservation of energy.

It states that there is a certain quantity, which we call “energy,” that does not change in the manifold changes that nature undergoes. That is a most abstract idea, because it is a mathematical principle; it says there is a numerical quantity which does not change when something happens.

It is not a description of a mechanism, or anything concrete; it is a strange fact that when we calculate some number and when we finish watching nature go through her tricks and calculate the number again, it is the same.

It is important to realize that in physics today, we have no knowledge of what energy “is.” We do not have a picture that energy comes in little blobs of a definite amount. It is not that way. It is an abstract thing in that it does not tell us the mechanism or the reason for the various formulas.


So we don't know what it is but it stays the same though it is somehow involved in how things change (become completely different). Makes "E = mc2" even more inscrutable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/15/2014 10:53AM by Ted King.
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Re: ...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 15, 2014 01:14PM
Made even more inscrutable in politlcs:

""It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is. If the--if he--if 'is' means is and never has been, that is not--that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement..."

(A quote from that renowned scholar and logician, William Jefferson Clinton)

devil smiley
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Re: ...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: May 15, 2014 01:21PM
"... as we know, there are known knowns; there are things that we know that we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns, the ones we don't know we don't know."
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Re: ...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: May 15, 2014 01:52PM
FWIW... NOT intending to mock Prof. Feynman. Someday I have to listen to his lectures. I had a few profs in school who grabbed my attention the way he does. They were amazing people.

When you start going into the quantum state in the physics, things get charmed and strange very quickly. grinning smiley
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Re: ...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: neophyte
Date: May 16, 2014 01:24PM
Oh, I'm not so sure that we don't know what energy "is". Its just that it has many different forms. Like that stored in chemical bonds in gasoline, that is released as heat when those bonds break and reform as lower energy bonds. Or the potential energy of a moving fist whose energy is transferred to your face if you don't duck. Or the kinetic energy of electrons being forced to flow through the thin filament of a now-outlawed 100W incandescent light bulb.

Like I said, just many different forms, each having its own characteristics. And sometimes difficult to understand.

Like women.
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Re: ...and now time for something completely different
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: May 23, 2014 04:05PM
Quote
neophyte
Like I said, just many different forms, each having its own characteristics. And sometimes difficult to understand.

Like women.

Among other things, Feynman was notably sexist.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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