Potential Energy Quotes (3 quotes)
Dissection ... teaches us that the body of man is made up of certain kinds of material, so differing from each other in optical and other physical characters and so built up together as to give the body certain structural features. Chemical examination further teaches us that these kinds of material are composed of various chemical substances, a large number of which have this characteristic that they possess a considerable amount of potential energy capable of being set free, rendered actual, by oxidation or some other chemical change. Thus the body as a whole may, from a chemical point of view, be considered as a mass of various chemical substances, representing altogether a considerable capital of potential energy.
If, again with the light of science, we trace forward into the future the condition of our globe, we are compelled to admit that it cannot always remain in its present condition; that in time, the store of potential energy which now exists in the sun and in the bodies of celestial space which may fall into it will be dissipated in radiant heat, and consequently the earth, from being the theatre of life, intelligence, of moral emotions, must become a barren waste.
Some of Feynmans ideas about cosmology have a modern ring. A good example is his attitude toward the origin of matter. The idea of continuous matter creation in the steady state cosmology does not seriously offend him (and he notes that the big bang cosmology has a problem just as bad, to explain where all the matter came from in the beginning). He emphasizes that the total energy of the universe could really be zero, and that matter creation is possible because the rest energy of the matter is actually canceled by its gravitational potential energy. It is exciting to think that it costs nothing to create a new particle,