People have always aspired to harness and manipulate the surrounding world. Efforts to subdue and to change the nature were always connected with the invention of different types of mechanical and artificial devices that help to override the environment. One of the most important part of the surroundings for people is energy. Attempts to conquer the energy have started before the industrial revolution. People used power of sun, wind, water and animals to do their jobs. Then there was machines that were able to use the power of steam. Scientists and engineers such as Thomas Newcomen and James Watt vitalized steam engine. That was a very important part of people’s development. It opened a huge amount of opportunities and with no doubt it was a significant moment of our existence. Further, there were cars and safety bicycles. With engineers’ success in harnessing and manipulating the energy, the way of energy use in society significantly has changed. Day by day, a modern society becomes more and more complicated and that fact causes the development of energy use in order to maintain our existence.
The first thing that needs to be said is that from the moment life started the necessity of energy appeared. Energy is an integral part of the life of every living creature. Every reaction on the planet requires light and heat from the Sun. Energy from the Sun is a significant part of the life cycle of every living creature. Nowadays, all products that we consume were created with different type of use of energy. Our vitality undoubtedly completely depends on energy (Hinrichs, and Kleinbach 3). People need it everywhere and for everything. In other words, people can’t exist without the energy, it maintains modern life. In addition, people use energy to invent and create structures and devices for protection. For example, safe-conduct systems and especially weapons. Using energy, we are aimed to protect ourselves from the other manifestation of energy and from the surrounding environment. However, human is also a part of this environment. The development of the use of energy causes the development in weapon field.
Energy is not something that may be seen or touched. That is why this concept is also hard to understand. Probably the best way to understand this concept is to realize what energy does. We can see signs of its existence almost everywhere in everyday life. We can see a work accomplishing. In this way, energy is a capability to do work. In other words, it is a general quantitative measure of the movement and interaction of all types of matter. Humanity needs energy. Moreover, it is essential for us. Energy need increases every year and at the same time resources of the traditional natural fuel (oil, gas, coal etc.) are exhaustible (Hinrichs, and Kleinbach 12). Exhaustible are also resources of nuclear fuel – uranium and thorium that are used to get the plutonium in the breeder reactor. Nowadays, the presence of energy is a necessary thing for human life existence. It is also needed for discovering new ways of use and manipulating energy.
Gottfried Leibniz inserted into mechanics the concept of “living force” for a quantitative measure of the movement (later it was called kinetic energy) – the product of the mass of the body and squared velocity. This view on the measure of the movement conflicted with the opinion of René Descartes, who believed that measure of the movement is a product of mass of the body and velocity (Trusted 86). An important example of Leibniz’s mature physical views is his work “Specimen Dynamicum”. He partially used the results of Christiaan Huygens and discovered the conservation law of “living forces” that was the first presented formulation of the law of conservation of energy. He also expressed an idea about transformation of certain types of energy into different ones (Trusted 87). Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, on the assumption of philosophical principle of the optimality of all nature’s actions, formulated one of the most significant variation principle of physics – least effort principle. That principle later was called the Maupertius principle. Leibniz also is the author of several discoveries in special fields of physics. His words about harnessing the living force exactly denote the significance for people to learn how to manipulate and harness the energy. Living force is the energy of movement that humanity needs not only for the existence, but also for growth and development.
Papin demonstrated his first serous invention “Papin’s boiler”. It was the first hermetic boiler that had a safety valve. After experimenting with it, Papin found a dependency between pressure and boiling temperature. Further, he demonstrated the first in the world pressure cooker. An idea of using the steam engine in seafaring also belongs to Papin (Hollister-Short 139). However, steamer appeared only after the death of an inventor. The modification of steam engine – steam turbine – nowadays produces the electricity at all thermoelectric power station of the world. In 1674, Papin built his first heat engine. Inside the cylinder with a piston, Papin kindled powder. The pressure inside cylinder greatly raised and powder gases made the piston move.
In 1824, Nicolas Léonard Sadi Carnot published his only book called “Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire”, where he considered an ideal thermodynamic cycle about getting the movement from heat (Carnot, Clapeyron, Clausius, and Mendoza 10). Carnot’s works were in essence the first serious theoretical investigation of principles of heat machines’ work. Carnot saw that the advantage of engine with high pressure is not only in pressure but also in the raising of boiling point of the water that is under pressure (Carnot, Clapeyron, Clausius, and Mendoza 19). Carnot also expressed a thesis that quantity of work is based on the difference of temperatures of the heater and refrigerator and it does not depend on the nature of substance that is used in heat machine. Effectiveness of engine depends not on the difference of pressures but on the difference of temperatures of steam that enters the cylinder and extended steam that comes out from the cylinder. That was how Carnot cycle came into the world. Further, the concept thermodynamic effectiveness appeared. Finally, Carnot’s ideas connected with the principle of conversation of energy and that was how a science Thermodynamics appeared.
Of course, nothing living is immortal. Everything changes and someday dies. The same is about the universe. Heat death of the universe is theory that Rudolf Clausius expressed in 1865 (Etkin 150). According to that, theory the universe is considered as a closed system so due to the second law of thermodynamics entropy of the universe longs for maximum. It causes the stoppage of every macroscopic process. The second law of thermodynamics is about raising of entropy due to certain irreversible processes in the closed system (Etkin 151). Clausius thought that that the universe with no doubt is a closed system because it does not exchange the energy with other systems.
As closed system, our universe longs for the balanced state – state with the maximum entropy. Therefore, all existent processes in the universe are supposed to die out. However, there are several arguments against this theory. One of them is based on the fact that heat death of the universe is impossible because the second law of thermodynamics is not applicable for the whole universe since it cannot be called closed or not closed. It is impossible because we do not know if the universe is rather interminable or limited. The universe is always non-static. It is uninterruptedly evolving.
Carnot, Sadi, C. Clapeyron, R. Clausius, and Eric Mendoza. Reflections on the Motive Power of Fire: And Other Papers on the Second Law of Thermodynamics by E. Clapeyron and R. Clausius. New York: Dover, 1960. Print.
Etkin, V A. Thermokinetics: (synthesis of Heat Engineering Theoretical Grounds). Haifa: s.n., 2010. Print.
Hinrichs, Roger, and Merlin H. Kleinbach. Energy: Its Use and the Environment. Belmont, CA: Thomson, Brooks/Cole, 2006. Print.
Hollister-Short, Graham. History of Technology: Volume Twenty, 1997. London: Mansell, 1997. Print.
Trusted, Jennifer. Physics and Metaphysics: Theories of Space and Time. London: Routledge, 1991. Print.