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Why did the concept of energy take so long to develop?


Energy (and Entropy)

The concept of energy has served as a unifying theme in the last few lectures. Energy is arguably the most important conserved quantity in physics. Energy is needed for the classical definition of entropy, which is itself may be seen as the driver of physical change. A new method of harnessing energy, the steam engine, formed the basis for the industrial revolution, and new methods will be need to be developed for our society to continue.

Question 1. Why did the concept of energy take so long to develop?

How is energy defined (today), within the Newtonian framework? What are its two major forms, and how do they interact? How is energy related to heat, and how did previous theories of heat affect the development of the concept of energy? What experiment related heat and energy, and why was it important?

Again, these questions are designed to give you very wide latitude, while keeping fundamental issues out front. You should address only ONE numbered question, but do not need to address all the sub-questions raised. (You could very well write a paper just on one of the sub-questions. As always, you want a very specific focus that sheds some light on the larger issues. You should be doing external research, but generally no more than two/three outside sources are needed to forge connections that go beyond lecture.)

The student answered the chosen question(s) and supported it with sufficient examples.
20 pts
Critical thinking
The student applied course material to make an argument and answer the question(s). The student did sufficient outside research to support the argument and drew logical conclusions from all cited sources.
20 pts
Good writing practice
The student’s response is of sufficient length (at least 750 words) and is formatted appropriately, including in-text citations and a list of sources in an acceptable format (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). Student made no grammatical or punctuation errors. Overall, the essay is professional and flows logically.
15 pts
Total Points: 55


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