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We live in a fascinating and complicated world that’s full of so many different things. People, animals, machines, everything that was already here and that we have built. It’s all so intensely fascinating, especially when you break it apart to learn how it works. One of the most fundamental concepts of physics, and one that affects everything from light installation to electricians to electrician services, is the concept of energy. There are two fundamental sides to the universe, no more and no less. The first is matter, the stuff and the rest of the planets, stars and moons are made out of. Matter is made of atoms which in turn are made of smaller, subatomic particles called neutrons, protons and electrons. These particles move about in empty space, comprising everything we are and ever will be. But they can’t move all on their own. They need another force to move them around, an invisible activating force called energy. Energy is a bit more of a nebulous concept than matter but it’s just as important. Here are a few ways that energy has helped shaped human history.
In the beginning
At the start, there was no life at all. Earth was a just a big ball of hot molten metal covered in sulfur and flaming volcanoes that constantly spewed ash into the air. It wouldn’t have been a fun place to live but it was the beginning of our home. There was no animals, no technology, no means of light installation or cars or wombats or internet. No trees. There was pretty much nothing and no one. Just rocks and primordial soup. But of out of this soup and through still relatively unknown methods, life arose. And life was the newest concept of all. It was a a collection of self propagating proteins that actually managed to temporarily decrease entropy rather than increase it. How did it do this exactly? How did it chaos and convert into temporary order when such a thing had been impossible before now? It did this all by using the absorbed energy of the sun to make more of itself. It took in energy and used in strange, self directed ways. And, for 3 billion years, this is all it did. Life stayed at the microbial level, doing nothing but absorbing and floating in the oceans.
The start of humans
The next billion years, although obviously much shorter than the previous 3 billion, saw tremendous changes. Let’s see how quickly we can fly through all of them, shall we? Microbes learned to eat each other for energy instead and eventually specialized to do so, becoming different species. Then they did this over and over and over, eventually growing into more and more complicated states that became the first animals and plants. After this, these new species thrived in the ocean than on land shortly afterward. These small land animals became the dinosaurs which then went extinct and became huge mammals instead. Then, out of these mammals, slowly, the first humans developed and, through another unknown means, developed self consciousness and the ability to use tools. But use tools for what exactly? That is the primary question.
The way we live
The primary defining traits of humanity are our adaptability and our tool using. But this tool using didn’t start out for something as complicated as light installation or nuclear reactors. Important as light installation and nuclear reactors are, they had to come from our first forays into tool use to further unlock the potential of energy within animals and plants. See, raw food will do the job of providing nutrition just fine but it won’t do anything more than that. By using the energy of tool made fire to cook food, early humans made a discovery that essentially amounted to an energy revolution. It unlocked more usable energy that led to higher brains and higher capacities for reason. And the heart of these endeavors is always always energy. The more energy we can use, the more stuff we can make. Energy is literally what runs the entire universe and drives our species forward.

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