Introduction—Order and Disorder: Order (02:45)
Physicist Jim Al-Khalili explains the importance of energy to human existence. Energy is a part of everyday life and helps people make sense of the universe.
Living Force (06:01)
Gottfried Leibniz wanted to understand how machines worked to better understand how the world and universe were created. He started by looking at the results of objects colliding; he called the energy created the living force.
Machines and Steam (04:37)
Many of Leibniz and Dennis Papin's idea about the living force had been achieved by the 19th century. Steam power revolutionized human life and was the first step to understanding the universe.
Nicolas Leonard Sadi Carnot combined the study of heat and motion into a new field. He wanted to learn how steam engines worked so he could make France's army stronger and realized the engines used the flow of energy between hot and cold substances.
First Law of Thermodynamics (02:02)
Scientists began to connect how different forms of energy related to each other. Energy is never created or destroyed, only changed.
Second Law of Thermodynamics (05:26)
Scientist Rudolf Clausius discovered the basis for the second law of thermodynamics. It states that heat always moves in one direction.
Entropy was what Clausius called heat spreading out and dispersing; it was an increasing and never-ending process. Using the idea, Ludwig Boltzmann thought the universe was made of atoms, rapidly moving from heat.
Boltzmann's idea of atoms was not believed by many physicists at the time. He understood that the universe could be built from only atoms and applied the idea to entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.
Universal Disorder (06:23)
Boltzmann's equation showed that everything in the universe is moving to disorder through entropy. It showed that one day the universe will end. The disorder of the universe created its complexity.
Fusion Energy (06:59)
Throughout history, humans found new and more advanced ways to create energy. The next step is hydrogen. A lab is England is working to create a small star on Earth to harness its energy.
Credits: Order and Disorder: Order (01:15)
Credits: Order and Disorder: Order
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