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The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. As a star, the Sun is heated to high temperatures by the conversion of nuclear binding energy due to the fusion of hydrogen in its core. This energy is ultimately transferred (released) into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.

Selected article

Lucas gusher.jpg
The Texas Oil Boom, was a period of dramatic change and economic growth in U.S. State of Texas during the early 20th century that began with the discovery of a large petroleum reserve near Beaumont, Texas. The find was unprecedented in its size and ushered in an age of rapid regional development and industrialization that has few parallels in U.S. history. Texas quickly became one of the leading oil producing states in the U.S., along with Oklahoma and California; soon the nation overtook the Russian Empire as the top producer of petroleum.

The major petroleum strikes that began the rapid growth in petroleum exploration and speculation occurred in Southeast Texas, but soon reserves were found across Texas and wells were constructed in North Texas, East Texas, and the Permian Basin in West Texas. By 1940 Texas had come to dominate U.S. production. Some historians even define the beginning of the world's Oil Age as the beginning of this era in Texas. Read more...

Selected image

Buying fuelwood.jpeg

Photo credit: Stephen Codrington
Wood is an important fuel in many developing countries.

Did you know?

  • Golar Spirit (pictured) is the world's first floating storage and regasification vessel converted from a LNG carrier?
  • The scientific-technical journal Oil Shale is the only journal in the world that focuses on oil shale as a main subject?

Selected biography

Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born 31 March 1948) is an American politician, teacher, businessman, and environmentalist. From 1993 to 2001, he was the 45th Vice President of the United States, serving while Bill Clinton was President. In the 2000 election Gore won the popular vote but not the electoral college victory.

Gore lectures widely on the topic of global warming and has given his keynote presentation at least 1,000 times across the world. In 2006 he starred in the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, discussing global warming and the environment, based on his presentation.

Gore was one of the first politicians to grasp the seriousness of climate change and to call for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. He held the first congressional hearings on the subject in the late 1970s. Gore pushed strongly for the passage of the Kyoto Treaty in the United States during the late 1990s.

In 2007 Al Gore and Richard Branson announced the Virgin Earth Challenge, offering a $25 million prize for the first viable design which results in the removal of atmospheric greenhouse gases. He is also one of the backers of the Live Earth concerts to promote action on climate change. Read more...

In the news

2 December 2019 –
International Atomic Energy Agency approved Rafael Grossi as the new Director General.(IAEA)
6 November 2019 – Nuclear program of Iran
French media reports that Iranian nuclear scientists began injecting uranium into centrifuges in the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. Effectively it turns the plant from a research site into an active nuclear site, in further violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (Al Jazeera)
4 November 2019 – Iran–United States relations
On the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chairman Ali Akbar Salehi announces his government has doubled the amount of advanced centrifuges limited by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and are working on a prototype that is fifty times faster than those allowed. He blames the United States's withdrawal from the agreement last year for these actions. (Al Jazeera)


  • "For those who want some proof that physicists are human, the proof is in the idiocy of all the different units which they use for measuring energy." – Richard Feynman
  • "The energy produced by breaking down the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformations of these atoms is taking moonshine." – Ernest Rutherford
  • "If you take a bale of hay and tie it to the tail of a mule and then strike a match and set the bale of hay on fire, and if you then compare the energy expended shortly thereafter by the mule with the energy expended by yourself in the striking of the match, you will understand the concept of amplification." – William Shockley
  • "It is easier to split an atom than to break a prejudice." – Albert Einstein

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