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If energy can’t be created or destroyed, how did it get here?

If energy can’t be created or destroyed, how did it get here?
Tristan Walker from Bedfordshire (Age 5-14)

Energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed from one state to the other. The energy to power the big bang came from somewhere. That being the case how did it and everything else come into existence?
Alan Ely from Wiltshire  (age: 45-54)


2 Responses

  1. Energy can take many forms. Matter – the physical ‘stuff’ the universe is made from – is one form of energy as Einstein was able to show a century ago. Gravity (which is caused by matter) also contains a form of energy.

    In a very basic way matter has positive energy and the gravity negative. So one cancels out the other which leaves you with no energy overall – which is the set up you had at the start of the universe.

    Somehow the formation of the universe allowed a little ‘give’ in how the energy looks like on the condition that overall it all adds up to zero!

  2. HI Young Scientist :),
    From our Sun, mostly. Nearly all the energy for life as we know it first arrives from our nearest star – THE SUN-.

    – Energy –
    That is the name we have chosen to call the ability to make changes or in other words: to do work. For instance to move things about or to make something hotter. That is why energy can do very different things. For instance electricity can work in a motor. That same motor can do work to raise a lift full of people. Work creates heat, which is a very common form of energy. Heat energy was necessary in the production of the electricity in the first place so you can see that energy changes from one form to another but doesn’t disappear or get used up.
    A lot of energy is stored in chemicals and this is how most of the Sun’s energy (solar power) is captured by green plants using that wonderful process
    Plants are harvested and eaten by us and other creatures to give us all energy with which to grow and keep going. Plants can also be used up (some as ‘fossil fuels’) in fires and the heat energy obtained can boil water in kettles, steam engines and electricity generators.
    You can tell that energy from the Sun is vital for our lives.
    Added to these forms of solar power is the energy in the weather. Wind and wave energies are examples of this. Some powerful energies are deep inside our living planet Earth. Tiny amounts of this energy sometimes escapes from volcanoes and it is these internal energies that are also responsible for the movements in the massive pieces of the surface of our planet (which we call the Earth’s Crust) that make earthquakes happen.

    There are other sources and forces available and ways that we have found to harness them:
    .Gravitational (hydroelectricity & tidal changes to power electricity generators). .Geothermal (smart plumbing obtains below-ground heat by ‘heat exchange’).
    .Nuclear (a controlled ‘radio-active’ reaction to heat water for electricity generation).

    – – New Ideas Are Always Wanted. Have You Any Good Ones?? – –

    Energy is so important a topic and works in so many ways that it is a very big subject.
    I hope this answer to your question is of some help and interesting enough to start you off in discovering more about life and how science tries to explain part of it.

    Good Luck

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