December 13, 2019 by Rasmus Bjerg

But Mom... energy really comes from space, I swear.

But Mom... energy really comes from space, I swear.

This is typically how you would start a sentence when your are ten years old and your Mom just caught you in what she would perceive as a blatant lie, but Mom... So allow me to start this blog in the same manner as all official Iranian documents I have ever encountered; In the name of God or more appropriately;

In the name of mainstream science and what every government ordained scientist can agree upon is the truth.

It is an well kept secret that energy really comes from space, actually it's not a secret at all, it's just that very few scientists are aware of that particular scientific fact. It is not because contemporary scientist are especially ignorant, it's just because there is so many things to know, that you can't possibly know everything, so you could easily be forgiven for saying I didn't know that.

If very few scientists are aware of this scientific fact, then there is even less people in the general population that are aware of it. If you were to claim among your peers that; energy really comes from space, then you have set yourself up for failure and ridicule and the risk of being ostracized by people you previously have held in high esteem.

The first problem you would face is; what is energy really? The fundamental answer to that question is nobody really knows for sure. That answer might surprise you if you always thought that science has all the answers and there only remained a few minor details that needed to be sorted out along the way. The fact is that we have just left the shores of ignorance, and there is a cornucopia of things yet to be discovered.

My best guess at a qualified answer would be; energy is a unit that nature's accountants need in order to keep track of all of the energy in the universe. As you know, energy is a constant, so there will never be more or less energy at our disposal than there was at the beginning of time.

Fortunately in Anno Domini 1884, the revered scientist John Henry Poynting derived something called the Poynting Vector, a simple vector that represents the directional energy flux. And a vector is just an arrow that has a direction and a magnitude, in other words the Poynting Vector simply shows us how much energy is flowing and in which direction.

To illustrate the Poynting Vector I'm using the below simple circuit, a resistor connected to a battery. The resistor R represents anything that consumes power e.g. a light bulb or an electric motor.

Poynting Vector


Please make a note of the above blue arrows, these are the Poynting Vectors. As you can see energy flows out of the battery V and into space, and space is really what you would call the Sea of Energy. Space is like the ocean; if you dip a cup in the ocean and pick up a cup of water, then the void left will quickly be filled up by the remaining water in the sea and the whole ordeal will be like it never happened, that's why it's called the Sea of Energy.

You can also see that the resistor R has an inward flux of energy, but does the energy that has left the battery have the same magnitude as the energy flowing into the resistor R? To answer that question we would have to look at a more detailed calculation. Since I'm more of a visual person than a mathematical person, I have opted for a graphical and animated simulation using the COMSOL® Multiphysics simulator:

Simulated Poynting Vector

 

The thing on the left is the battery V, actually it's a capacitor but it basically works the same way as a battery, and on the right you have the resistor R, the red arrows are the Poynting Vectors.

What becomes noticeable about the simulation is that not all energy flowing out of the battery is flowing into the resistor. The majority of energy simply flows out into space and stays there without doing anything productive, and only a small amount of energy actually hits the resistor.

This difference between input energy and output energy is simply the efficiency of the system or circuit in this case, most of the energy is lost and the system is highly inefficient and wasting precious energy.

So there you have it Mom, I'm not lying; energy really comes from space, please don't scoff me anymore, I would never lie to you.

Categories: Design, Events Tags: #html, #trends

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