Essential Questions 4.2
Before the days of the Stone Age, humans lived in fear of fire, it was something dangerous and to be avoided. Eventually we learned to heat and cook with it. Cooking over an open fire is very inefficient; much of the available energy was wasted. Cooking on an outdoor charcoal grill only uses about 2% of the energy to cook with.
Many of our advances today come from our understanding of the conversion of energy from one form to another. There is an infinite sea of energy around us; waiting for us to put it to use. For eons fire was there but we were ignorant. We developed heat engines, electricity, sails, and windmills. Energy became transportable. We speak now of running out of oil and other fossil fuels and how we will need new energy sources.
While it is theoretical that we can’t make our devices use all the energy available, we can make them much more efficient. We will tap new sources of heat energy, fusion, sunshine, wave motion and invent new technologies to take advantage of these heat sources. The future is yours to develop.
British Thermal Unit
Elastic Potential Energy
Gravitational Potential Energy