Energy is most likely a primary basic element, because it seems to be part of everything there is. What more is there to this universe than combinations of energy and space?!
A universe without energy...
If there would be no energy, there would be: No motions, no sounds, no light, no warmth, no thoughts, no life, no change, no time.
There would not even be atoms, as an atom is a system of energy in a small space.
So without energy, there would probably only be a whole lot of empty space!
It might even be so that "empty space" is actually more like an atomless sea of high pressure energy, but that's not sure. But there is energy, lots of energy.
Where did the energy come from?
Is it possible to create energie, or do we always have to collect it from somewhere?
Different shapes of energy
Because their are so many kinds of energy, there must be an other kind of primary basic element. To get such variety of shapes, energy has to be combined with at least one other primary basic element. A few shapes of energy:
- atoms (an atom is a very stable balanced system of energy).
- maybe space (if "empty space" actually is an atomsless sea of highly pressurised energy).
- magnetic fields, gravity fields
- electrons, photons
- relative speed, how force accelerates things in all possible motions/directions.
The kinds of energy our body needs
Our body needs energy: to stay warm, to grow and regenerate (the body is constantly repairing itself), to move around, to think, to gather materials, and such.
The Sun and sometimes the Earth keep us warm, but we also get warm from the things we: eat, drink, and breathe. The atoms/molecules we collect this way contain the energy and building blocks we need. We don't consume the atoms though. Some of the atoms become part of our body, but they won't break down, they'll just be here for a while. The energy we get from our food, is actually all solar powered. The plants and animals we need to eat, got their energy from the Sun, they rearranged their collected atoms into eatable molecules. I don't like eating other's, but that's how we are built. Yea; and the power of love.
Inside the sun there's nuclear fusion going on, a process that turns the energy of mass into "freed energy", being heat and light and many other kinds of radiation. Most of Earth's life runs on the energy coming from the sun. The few exceptions are: Energy from the Earth's core, and chemical & nuclear reactions from atoms/molecules already here.
Energy for machines and transport
We develop more and more machines to do work we ourselves can't do, or can but rather not do. To make and run these machines, we again need certain combinations of atoms to construct the parts with, and lots of energy in the shape of heat and electricity to get things in motion. All this energy can come from the sun (directly or indirectly) or we can learn how to create ánd fully control little suns here on Earth. Or we can search for other sources.
Storing energy can be very dangerous if it's a lot. If all stored breaks free at once, you've got like a bomb exploding. So to be safe, the stored energy should be very stable, or it should be created/gathered when needed. An atom is an example of very stable energy storage, and solar pannels can gather a little energy when needed.
Gathering energy from two unequal source
This is the easy old-fashioned way. Water flowing down hill. Wind blowing from high to low pressure. A hot fire in a colder environment. Electrons traveling from an area of plenty to an area of shortage. Always a single large flow moving from an area of more to an area of less.
Gathering energy from a random source
Some situations are energetic, but in random directions. For example the little ripples on the surface of a lake. These bumps are energy but not as easy to harvest as a large volume of water flowing in one direction. A random energy source may from a distance seem like one pointless gray noise, but the closer you get, the more direction you'll see. 2 options: use lost of tiny tools that can gather energy from such small movements, or bring order in that chaos, align all little forces in one direction, causing one large & usable force to arise.
Resonance is the word for creative interference (the opposite of destructive interference).
If all the tiny energy sources are of a spinning type, turning them all will cause them to aligne in the same direction.
Gathering energy from an equal source
Not sure if there's a way to tap from this source.
How for example can I tap energy from the atmosphere's pressure? Air flows from higher to lower pressure. If all the atmospheric around me is of equal pressure, there is no flow, thus to create a flow I have to transport the air to a distant area of different pressure, or create a local area of different pressure myself. Temperature has an effect on air pressure, so instead of transporting a volume of air, I could transport its heat. Doing that can create a flow of air, but how much energy does it cost to get it flowing? It's just a waste, if creating the flow cost more than can be gathered from the flow.
Gravity is the cause of atmospheric pressure. The atmosphere is thin, and air has little mass, but still enough of both to give air a lot of pressure at sea level. (about 1.033KG/CM^2). The nearest region of less pressure is up. At first, every meter up reduces the air pressure by 1.225 KG/M^2. So, at sea level, the pressure is 10330KG/M^2, and 10 meters up, the pressure has dropped to 10317.75 KG/M^2.
Lifting a box with air up is creating a pressure difference, from which energy can be harvest. But how much energy does it cost to lift 1M^3 air up 1 meter? This cube of air "weighs nothing" at sea level (it floats), but the more up you go, the heavier it becomes. Is the power needed to rise and accelerate the air equal to the power the pressure difference can produce? Probably, but I don't know for sure. Do you?
We are energy
Did you learn this in school?: We are energy beings.
Everything and everybody is a shape of energy!
We humans need to use the virtual reality of our mind, but it's important to know of what stuff the real reality is made of. It's kind of strange to look at the world and see that everything is energy. Forgetting for a moment all lables learned. These labels that make it hard to sense what reality is really like.
The speed of energy & time
Freezing energy equals freezing time. Time as we know it, is relative to the speed of energy. If the speed of energy is an absolute constant, then so is the rate of change: time. But the speed of energy is depending on the condition of space, and as that seems to not be a constant, nor are the speed of energy and time an absolute constant.
Logical or Random?
Imagine the whole universe (including your mind) being re-winded 10 years, and then played again. Would everything happen again, exactly the same as it did the first time? Are all motions of energy a logical sequence of cause & effect , or can energy behave randomly also, and will the second story be completely different?
Discover more about the character of energy.
We should continue the search for the most fundamental descriptions of energy. We can still discover a lot about energy, and write that down. The theory of everything, when ready, can explain everything, including energy.
So much energy, so little knowledge
How can we have a shortage of energy? We are energy, we are surrounded by energy. We make war over the tiny bit of energy in oil, that's as silly as fish in an ocean fighting each other to death over a little bit of water!