# chapter3 - 3 Distant Voices Energy is the ultimate currency...

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1 3. 3. - - Distant Voices Distant Voices z Energy is the ultimate currency! z What’s Energy? The capacity to do work. It is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. z Types of Energy: 1. Kinetic (motion) and 2. Potential (condition). Energy can be transferred in two ways: Heat and Work. z Fusion could provide enough electricity for L.A. on the atoms in a bucket of seawater. (read Fusion vs. Fission in the book) Energy is the ultimate currency because any process needs to get energy in order to spend energy. The total amount of energy in the Universe is a number that happens to be conserved (Energy can not be created nor destroyed only transformed); this is also known as the 1 st law of thermodynamics. There are two types of energy : Kinetic and Potential . So, one can say a system has a given amount of kinetic energy or of potential energy. Energy is transferred between systems in the forms of Heat and Work , so one can not say a system has a given amount of heat or work but only that it has gained (or lost) heat and/or work. The “Connections” book also talks about Fusion in this chapter. In order to understand fusion, we need to understand the theory of atomic structure. Atoms : Democritus, a Greek philosopher, was the first one to propose the existence of a building block of matter that he called atom (meaning without division). The idea was simple, one can break a piece of a given material to obtain smaller pieces. If one continues to do so, he postulated that there is a point at which you should end up with something that it is just unbreakable; that unit would be the atom. This theory was not very popular for centuries until Dalton (about 200 years ago -almost 2,000 years later) picked up again on this idea and formulated his atomic theory. We will discuss atomic theory next.

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2 Dalton’s Atomic Theory was based on four postulates: 1. All matter is made of atoms. Atoms are indivisible and indestructible. 2. All atoms of a given element are identical in mass and properties. 3. A combination of two or more different kinds of atoms to form compounds. 4. A chemical reaction is a rearrangement of atoms. This generated the postulation of models for the constitution of the atom. Atomic Models: Plum Pudding Model: After discovering a negative particle called electron in 1897, J.J. Thompsom proposed a model for the smallest neutral unit: the atom. In 1904, he called his model the Plum Pudding Model in which the electrons were embedded in a “dough” which was positively charged making the unit neutral.
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