Zero Energy Theory

by Harry Leggett

Before I get into the meat of this topic I think it would be best to define a few of the key terms that will come up in this article. What is energy? Well in physics terms energy is defined as the capacity for doing work. It can exist in many forms, you may have come across thermal or electric or chemical or nuclear or many other forms. However all of these forms fall in to two basic categories, Potential and Kinetic energy. This can be shown in the table that I found from a US energy administration website (Figure 1). However you may be wondering why energy is any meaning, well energy is what is used to move cars or to cook food or to run freezers or light our homes, so ultimately energy is what society and humanity lives off.

To explain the zero energy theory I'm going to start right at the start. When studying energy in physics or science you will be told that you can measure kinetic energy and potential energy using the formulas 1/2 x m x v2 and m x g x h, where m is the mass of the object, v is the velocity, g is the gravitational constant and h is the height at which the object falls from. If you do a simple experiment and drop a ball from a specific height and measure the kinetic energy and the gravitational potential energy then you will get a graph similar to the one in figure 2. What you will notice is at all points the sum of the two types of energy is the same, coincidence? No, this is one of the fundamental laws of physics. The conservation of energy, which states “energy cannot be created nor destroyed, only transferred from one form to another’. As a principle this is great however there will be some slight issues with this as you may say that air resistance hasn't been taken into account so not all of the energy is converted from gravitational potential to kinetic.

What does that all mean about the zero energy theory though? Well if you were to use the equation for kinetic energy there is no way that you can get a negative number, velocity may be a vector meaning it has a direction but that will always positive because it is squared and if you square a positive or a negative number you create a positive. Therefore no matter what the circumstances are, kinetic energy cannot be negative. However Potential energy is measured by the formula m x g x h, where the mass is positive and the height is positive however g, the gravitational field strength is -9.21 because it is acting towards the centre of the earth, now that means that gravitational potential energy will always have a negative value. Now if we apply that knowledge we know now we can understand that kinetic and gravitational potential energy can cancel each other. Marcelo Samuel Berman submitted a hypothesis on the zero energy theory in 2006, however many theorists have written contrary hypotheses about similar subjects. Ultimately the zero energy theory will remain a theory for a very long time, however plenty of discoveries and theories in recent years have led to holes opening on which there may be more to come on the zero energy theory.

 Potential energy Kinetic energy Chemical energy is energy stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. Batteries, biomass, petroleum, natural gas, and coal are examples of chemical energy. Chemical energy is converted to thermal energy when people burn wood in a fireplace or burn gasoline in a car's engine. Radiant energy is electromagnetic energy that travels in transverse waves. Radiant energy includes visible light, x-rays, gamma rays, and radio waves. Light is one type of radiant energy. Sunshine is radiant energy, which provides the fuel and warmth that make life on earth possible. Mechanical energy is energy stored in objects by tension. Compressed springs and stretched rubber bands are examples of stored mechanical energy. Thermal energy, or heat, is the energy that comes from the movement of atoms and molecules in a substance. Heat increases with increases in the speed that these particles move. Geothermal energy is the thermal energy in the earth. Nuclear energy is energy stored in the nucleus of an atom—the energy that holds the nucleus together. Large amounts of energy can be released when the nuclei are combined or split apart. Motion energy is energy stored in the movement of objects. The faster they move, the more energy is stored. It takes energy to get an object moving, and energy is released when an object slows down. Wind is an example of motion energy. A dramatic example of motion energy is a car crash—a car comes to a total stop and releases all of its motion energy at once in an uncontrolled instant. Gravitational energy is energy stored in an object's height. The higher and heavier the object, the more gravitational energy is stored. When a person rides a bicycle down a steep hill and picks up speed, the gravitational energy is converting to motion energy. Hydropower is another example of gravitational energy, where gravity forces water down through a hydroelectric turbine to produce electricity. Sound is the movement of energy through substances in longitudinal (compression/rarefaction) waves. Sound is produced when a force causes an object or substance to vibrate. The energy is transferred through the substance in a wave. Typically, the energy in sound is smaller than in other forms of energy. Electrical energy is delivered by tiny charged particles called electrons, typically moving through a wire. Lightning is an example of electrical energy in nature.