WAR IS MY BUSINESS
In the previous section, we discussed the fundamental elements of our universe, and how all things that exist fall within a few well-known and observable models. While the Standard Model and General Relativity are mere steppingstones towards a Theory of Everything, there were still gaps in our knowledge that prevent this unified understanding. Regardless of what we do know, we will be able to move forward and look towards more complex applications of these fundamentals. What do we need to discuss next though?
Reminding ourselves that our goal is to identify the point of commonality between warfare and business, we can look back at what conditions need to be in place. First and foremost, we need an environment for these conditions to be met, and as life is a unique condition present on Earth, we have to discuss how the Earth came to be the way that it is. The idea, in relatively simplistic terms, are that those complex applications of the fundamental forces that rule over the cosmos, eventually lead to even more complex applications that ultimately lead to us, and how we shape our worlds.
- The Earth, its solar system, and the celestial bodies in the universe are drawn to each other through gravitational force.
- They are all held together at the atomic level as a result of the strong nuclear force.
- The diversity of elements found here on Earth, and elsewhere, comes from the decaying effect of the weak nuclear force from more massive atoms fused within stars as a result of gravitational forces.
- The binding of molecules and the nature of energy amongst matter is the result of the electromagnetic force.
So in this section we will see how the fundamental forces, literally the laws that dictate what all matter in the universe does, not only form our Earth, but set the conditions that will eventually permit life to develop. In its conclusion, I hope you may begin to see, if you haven't already, that there is simplicity in the complexity of the world, and that different ways of thought have more in common than would appear.
If you are interested in checking them out, I would suggest the Audible audiobooks. If you don't have Audible, here is an option for a free trial, and you can get two audiobooks for free.
The Cosmos and Elements
The Cosmos and Elements
Let us set our stage around 13.7 Billion years ago when the universe occupied a single point in space. The fundamental forces didn't exist, and fermions were freely moving about, untethered, as the energy of the universe at this point didn't allow for the formation of fundamental elements. Then, for reasons that science can only speculate at this time, the universe underwent an explosive expansion from that point.
For some, the concept of the Big Bang seems far-fetched while for others they merely accept the theory as it has been put forth. The scientific community theorizes the occurrence of the Big Bang event based on three pieces of evidence.
- In 1928, Edwin Hubble discovered that in every direction we observed that every galaxy was moving away from us, and that the farther they were, the faster they were moving away.
- In 1948, scientists postulated that for a Big Bang event to have occurred that there should be a specific observable ratio of elements found in the cosmos. That ratio turned out to be accurate: 92:8:0 - Hydrogen:Helium:Other Elements.
- In 1964, the average temperature of the universe was calculated to be 2.7 Kelvin, or -455 Fahrenheit, and this was seen to be the case regardless of where they observed.
Based on these three observations, the only possible scientific conclusion that could be derived was that the universe began at a point and underwent an expansion. As a result of this, the Big Bang Theory holds two presuppositions to be true:
- That the universe expanded from an initial state that was much smaller and hotter than now, and
- That the universe is still expanding to this day.
As the universe expanded and began to cool, the powers of the strong force allowed the base elements to form; mainly hydrogen and helium. As space was opened up, this now vast amount of gas was carried along with the expansion. While the gas of the universe was spreading, as the volume of space increases, the effects of gravitational forces started to generate pockets of matter that were coming together. So while everything, on average, was expanding away from each other, locally the power of gravity was strong enough to counter the effects of this expansion.
These localized collections of gas became the galaxies and nebulas we see today. In our galaxy, the Milky Way, some large quantities of hydrogen and helium were further separated as a result of the strength of local gravitational forces. These smaller pockets with massive gravitational forces at work would begin to collapse into an extensive collection of massively dense balls of gas. Some would have enough mass to start forming what would be a star, but fail to ignite due to lack of sufficient amounts of matter. Others, however, did have enough, and that heat and density jump-started nuclear fusion at its core.
In most instances, a star maintains its vast amounts of energy output through hydrogen fusion in which two hydrogen atoms are fused to make one helium atom. As the available hydrogen starts to run out, the star shrinks in volume but retains the majority of its mass, and therefore becomes hotter and begins fusing helium into carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. This process continues as these elements are fused to make heavier ones, and in turn make even heavier elements. These processes, called nucleosynthesis, can happen simultaneously as denser elements that are created, descend towards the core, while the lighter elements ascend towards the surface. So while hydrogen fusion can be occurring at the surface, you can see helium fusion happening closer to the core. This process continues until the creation of iron. Iron is unable to undergo fusion, even under these powerful forces, and as a result, there isn't enough fuel to keep nuclear fusion going. The star collapses, then explodes under the pressure of the collapse in what is called a supernova.
The supernova occurs as a result of the end of balance between the collapsing effect of gravity and the expanding effects of fusion; through electromagnetism, within a star. It was the force of gravity that drew the star upon itself, and it was the thermodynamic properties of fusion as a result of both the strong force and electromagnetism working to expand it. With the presence of so much iron being unable to fuel the fusion, the balance is lost, gravity prevails, then the star collapses with such force upon itself that it produces a powerful explosion that expels all its matter outwards. In the matter of a second or so, this explosion of energy is enough to fuse excess neutrons to the existing matter creating even more massive isotopes. These massive isotopes, seeking to obtain a more stable atomic arrangement, witness their excess neutrons undergo beta decay, a function of the weak nuclear force, which turns those neutrons into protons, and therefore turns those isotopes into heavier elements.
To recap, the Big Bang expands the universe from a single point to an ever-expanding space while seeding that universe with its initial matter; hydrogen and helium. Stars begin to form and through nucleosynthesis fuse that initial matter into heavier elements up to iron. An iron-rich star will not be able to maintain the fusion reactions necessary to sustain balance, and it will collapse upon itself into a supernova. That supernova, with the help of beta decay, produces enough energy to fuse and build all the other elements that exist naturally within the universe.
Remember, everything that exists started as the hydrogen and helium of the Big Bang. The Earth, its life, you personally, as well as everyone you have ever loved or hated, everything you have ever owned, every bullet fired, every coin spent, every gadget sold, and every food item consumed was made of atoms seeded by the universe's expansion and further forged in stars and supernovas. They may change their form over time, both naturally and at the hands of humanity, but it is in the cosmos where they all started, and where they remain, as we are merely another variable in this long process.
Looking back at the fundamentals there isn't an action that has been observed, after the Big Bang event, that isn't dictated by both the Standard Model and Relativistic Models. There hasn't been a new variable introduced to make all this occur as these things are merely more complex applications of the fundamentals. The proton, neutron, and electrons are made of fermions; quarks and leptons, the fundamental forces and their gauge bosons dictate the effects of gravity and the thermodynamic effects of fusion reactions.
Let’s get a little more local.
Our solar system, like many others we have observed within the universe, started as gaseous clouds. Most likely the cloud was the remnants of a previous supernova due to the presence of elements other than hydrogen and helium. At some point, possibly as a result of a collision with another gaseous cloud, the cloud that would become our system, started to spin. As it spins, it began to flatten as a result of centrifugal forces, a more complex application of gravitational forces.
At the center of our flattened gas cloud, more and more of the matter started to be drawn together. As it coalesced it became more massive. It created greater gravitational pull and further attracted more matter towards itself. Once it had enough matter with enough density, strong gravitational forces were able to ignite the mass into an initial protostar and began its first processes of hydrogen fusion and nucleosynthesis. It continued to pull more matter until around 99.9% of the matter that had made up this initial cloud was now localized in this one star. This star is Sol, our sun, and lies at the center of our system.
For the remaining 0.1% of the matter within the solar system, they had enough directional velocity to stay in orbit around the sun and not be drawn to its center. Matter closer to the sun comprised of heavier elements; carbon, iron, nickel, etc., while matter farther out was made of much lighter elements and molecular compounds. These elements and compounds would start to form larger and larger chunks of material within its orbit of the sun; in much the way a snowball would collect more snow as it rolls down a snowy hill. Eventually, these collections would be so massive that they would be able to clear their orbits of most material and become planets.
The inner planets; the terrestrial planets of the solar system, made of those heavier elements, are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. The outer planets; the gas giants, made of those lighter elements are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. As a result of their formation from the orbits of our flattened cloud they all continue to orbit along this single plane.
The moons of our solar system, for the most part, found their orbits around their respective planets as a result of gravitational capture. As our early and chaotic system saw more of its remaining material consolidated on a few planets their increased mass meant stronger gravitational forces which pulled more in until there wasn't much material left. On occasion, the draw of planets on planetoids and asteroids would be able to bring them close, but due to angular momentum would be caught in orbit instead of colliding. These moons cleared their orbits, adding to their mass, and generated gravitational forces that impact their planets to varying degrees.
Before NASA’s Apollo 11 moon landing brought moon dust back, it was believed that our moon was captured just like many others. There were a few other theories, but in the interest of brevity it is easier to say that capture was the go-to explanation. Apollo 11, in bringing back material from the surface, showed us that Earth and our moon have similar compositions of base elements. Astronauts also installed a reflective panel that would allow for precision measurements of distance between the two celestial bodies using laser rangefinding, and from this, we discovered that the moon is actually moving away from the Earth at 3.8cm per year.
So this means two things:
- Earth and moon have similar compositions making a purely capture-based theory unlikely.
- The farther back into the past the closer the moon would’ve been.
The now generally accepted theory is that 4.5 Billion years ago, a proto-Earth and a planetoid called “Theia” occupied close orbitals around the sun. At some point along their orbits they got caught in each other’s gravitational pull just enough to cause an eventual collision. Instead of a dead-on impact Theia hit the larger proto-Earth in a kind of glancing blow. In the process, Theia was effectively destroyed, with much of Theia being left on Earth; including its metal core. Ejecta from the remnants of Theia, and the proto-Earth, were flung into orbit creating a debris field around Earth. Our Earth would settle, as much as our molten planet could, alongside this large debris field that eventually coalesced into our moon, which would continue to drift away from us to this day. This theory helped answer some of these following questions that had to be solved for many phenomena of our planet to make sense:
- How we got our Moon? Debris from an impact event.
- Why was our moon moving away from us? It has continued to move away since initial impact.
- Why are our compositions so similar? The impact created an exchange of matter.
- How did the Earth gain its rotational tilt? The impact knocked the planet off its rotational axis.
- Why is our core unusually big for our size? Theia lost much of its core to the Earth during the impact.
Finishing up the discussion on our system; between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter resides a band of rocky bodies that have failed to form a planet, predominantly because of the massive gravitational pull of a passing Jupiter preventing this from happening. NASA estimates that there are around 40,000 asteroids larger than a half a mile in diameter within this Asteroid Belt. Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt that is made up of those remaining light elements and compounds that produced the gas giants. They are scattered and icy, and the Kuiper Belt is also home to many dwarf planets, like Pluto and Ceres. A few are also referred to as Trans-Neptunian Objects as, much like a parent wrangling their children, Neptune's orbit and gravitational pull keep most of them in orbit around the sun. Just outside the Kuiper Belt is the Scattered Disc, which is more erratic, and oddly enough Neptune can even have a more significant effect on the orbits of these objects and can pull these icy asteroids into the inner solar system. It is speculated that from these asteroids Earth may have been seeded with water early in its formation. A fitting scenario that Neptune's, named for the Roman god of the seas, gravitational pull gifted Earth its water. Finally, beyond the Shattered Disk is the Oort Cloud that contains what remains of the celestial bodies that orbit the sun. These low-velocity objects don't orbit along a single plane like the planets and belts, but instead, surround the system in all directions. This cloud is home of those long-term comets, like Halley's, but it is still very much speculative at this point.
While atoms are made up of fermions using gauge bosons to exert their respective forces, it is the atom that generally gets the greatest focus from humanity, both scientist and laymen. We can grasp the properties of atoms far more effectively than trying to perceive the individual interactions of subatomic particles. It may be difficult to fully fathom the implications of specific combinations of quarks and, leptons, and how the gauge bosons are uniquely interacting with each other. But if we're to put into your hand a lump of gold you would be far happier than if it were a lump of uranium, which may cause you fear since you know it to be highly radioactive, and therefore, dangerous to your health. Additionally, it is far easier for us to comprehend the meaning behind the vast number of arrangements that matter can make when we focus on just the atoms themselves. What I am talking about are molecular compounds, or just merely chemicals.
Oxygen is an atom. Hydrogen is an atom. If you have combined two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, however, then you have dihydrogen monoxide whose chemical formula is H2O; also known as water. When atoms are combined into chemicals, then they can take on new properties, but the properties themselves are not outside the fundamental forces that created them. As with everything in this section, they are just more complex applications of those fundamental forces. The nuclei of atoms are bound by the strong force, while the exchanging or sharing of their electrons bind atoms to each other in various types of bonds as a result of electromagnetism. There is nothing inherently new that is occurring, but instead just complexity as a result of numerous simple forces acting out in concert with each other. So we must first discuss how chemicals form these bonds, and what attributes these bonds, in turn, create for the chemical.
The first thing to mention is why chemicals form in the first place. The reason being is that the atoms involved are seeking to attain an electron balance between each involved and achieve a more stable arrangement. The negatively charged electrons of one atom will be attracted to the positively charged protons of another atom, as the result of the electromagnetic force, this is a desirable arrangement. They also don't want them too close, because the electromagnetic force also repels those like-charged atomic particles as well. Each atom in a chemical seeks to not only draw them towards themselves but also keep them at a distance which in turn produces a desirable spacing that requires the least energy to maintain. This is called “bond length,” and the length between atoms within a chemical differ based on the number of atomic particles and how the atoms of that particle are arranged.
Electrons occupy orbitals around a nucleus called a shell. More shells will be used when there are more electrons present. Shells will, generally, fill themselves up with the maximum number of electrons it can hold, but this dynamic can change with much more massive atoms. It is electrons of the outermost shell that establishes the bonds with other atoms. These are called valence electrons, and they are what bind all chemicals together.
If you look at helium, you will see its two electrons occupy the first shell. The first shell can only hold two electrons. So when lithium enters the scene, it has to have its third electron occupy a new second shell outside the first. As a result, it has a single valence electron in which it can attempt to bond with other elements, and seeks to fill its second shell, which can have up to eight. Helium doesn't like to bond to anything since its first, and only shell, is full. Helium belongs to that class of elements, called noble gases, that have their outermost shell full; occupying the far-right column on the periodic table.
Bonding occurs in between the valence electrons of different atoms based on that desire to establish the balance between the pull and repulsion of electromagnetic forces while filling out those outer shells. The valence electrons will create different types of bonds depending on the nature of the atoms that they have to bond with when compared to the one from which they originate. Here is a quick list of the types of bonds that can form.
Covalent Bonds are electrons that are shared between two atoms, and specifically, have two types of bonds based on the polarity of the chemical.
- Nonpolar Covalent Bonds share their electrons in equal measure to create a molecule that does not display polarity. They are difficult to break up without the use of other nonpolar molecules.
- Polar Covalent Bonds, on the other hand, have unequal sharing, and in turn, the atom, or atoms, that the electrons are unequally drawn towards produce a side of the molecule with a greater negative charge. This means it creates a molecule that can be affected by magnetic fields.
Ionic Bonds see the temporary transfer, or borrowing, of one electron from one atom to another so that instead of combining existing valence electrons to fill outer shells these bonds remove valence electrons from one; emptying their outer shell, to fill the outer shell of another. This arrangement creates a polar molecule in the process as well since one side will have more protons to electrons while the other will have the reverse, and therefore attract and repel other polar molecules.
Metallic Bonds are unique in that they don't necessarily share or give up valence electrons in order to bond with other metals, but instead create a lattice structure of atoms with greater distances between those atoms, which allow for the creation of what is called a "sea of electrons." This sea of electrons is just the free exchange of electrons between multiple metallic atoms. So instead of other atomic bonds where a single sharing or transferring of an electron or two is maintained for the duration of that chemical bond, the electrons of the metals flow from one atom's outer shell to another, and another, and another creating a very strong structure. This is why metal has the properties that it does. Metal is difficult to break apart as the sea of electrons reinforce the bonds of all of its atoms as external forces attempt to tear it apart. It is a great conductor of heat and electricity since the free flow of electrons allows for efficient energy transfer throughout the lattice structure. Finally, the spacing of the lattice with strong metallic bonds keeping it together, allows for the metal to be heated and made malleable and ductile so that we may shape it as we see fit, and harness its properties in various ways.
Polar and Nonpolar molecules are also important to discuss, as mentioned the polarity of the molecule is based on the arrangement of where the preponderance of electrons are in relation to the preponderance of protons. In the forming of a chemical compound the chemical has achieved that electromagnetic balance with the minimum amount of energy required to maintain it, but in the case of polar molecules, has created a side that is more negatively charged than the other. In the case of water, the molecule takes on a bent shape as the oxygen's lone electron pairs that are part of the covalent bond repel the hydrogen atoms to the other side. This bending means that one side of the water molecule, the oxygen-side, is weighted more heavily with negatively charged particles, than the more positive hydrogen-side. This subsequently creates a polar molecule that can attract other polar molecules, hence the reason why water is so attracted to itself; the positive hydrogen-side of one water molecule is drawn to the oxygen-side of another in a process called "hydrogen bonding."
This is why water is such a good chemical to clean with, because:
- Its polar nature helps attract, i.e., dissolve, other polar molecules away from the surface of the object.
- It is relatively plentiful here on Earth, and in the universe, since it is just hydrogen and oxygen.
- It is naturally in its liquid phase at room temperature, and can smoothly flow over and through those objects.
Depiction of a water molecule
But undoubtedly you can think of some chemicals that water has difficulting dissolving; such as oils and grease. That is because those are made of various types of nonpolar molecules with which the polar nature of water will be unable to break up effectively. If you have ever worked on machinery or have witnessed an oil-spill clean-up effort, you may have seen the difficulty of trying to clean up these nonpolar molecules. Oil and grease are extremely difficult to clean up with water, not just because they are nonpolar and aren’t affected by water’s polar nature, but also, being the polar narcissist that it is, water is far busier being attracted to itself to affect nonpolar molecules.
You may also remember other types of chemicals that have been used to remedy this situation. Imagine something along the line of degreasers or even the branding campaign of Dawn dishwashing liquid. They always like to show their soap being used to clean the oil off of unfortunate ducks, penguins, and seals. So what is happening?
These soaps use what we called "hybrid molecules," and they have chemical chains that are complex yet, together have the properties of both a polar and a nonpolar molecule. So when we introduce this hybrid molecule to the oil, it begins breaking it up and dissolving it as a result of the nonpolar part of the hybrid molecule. After the oil has been broken down enough, water is washed over the area, and the polar nature of water attracts the polar elements of the hybrid molecule which has already dissolved the oil.
The desire to fill the outer shells of hydrogen and oxygen lead to them creating a polar covalent bond between one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. The lone electrons not utilized in the bond are forced to the other side of the oxygen atoms, as they, in turn, repulse the hydrogen atoms to the other side, creating a bent molecule that is polar. Because of its polar nature, it can attract and dissolve other polar molecules. However, through the use of hybrid molecules as an intermediate chemical, it can also draw and dissolve nonpolar molecules like oil and grease. All this is the result of the electromagnetic force. To reiterate, no new forces are being added to these interactions, but instead merely more complex applications of an existing force. Something that may appear to be complex, as the bonding of atoms into chemicals, and the various properties that they reveal, are simply the result of fundamental forces used in numerous ways to create something that appears to be complex in nature.
Potential Energy deals with the potential for energy to be released or produced through some interaction with fundamental forces. There is an energy potential for an object as a result of gravitational forces. As snow falls on a mountainside, it continues to collect, and the added snow continues to build up potential energy. The snow may cling to other snow, but the added mass in the presences of continuous gravitational forces produces the increased potential for that energy to release in the form of an avalanche. Though the snow may finally rest in a clump at the base of the mountain there is still potential energy presence, as gravity continues to draw that snow towards the center of the Earth. It is the crust of the Earth that prevents this from occurring, but as the snow waits to continue its fall; which may never happen unless the crust splits beneath it, it will continue to apply pressure to the Earth underneath it.
Chemical Energy is a form of potential energy, but deserves its own mention as to its importance. It is the result of chemical energy that we consume food for our bodies to process, that plants absorb photonic radiation for photosynthesis, and why material burns. In the case of wood, when you produce large amounts of kinetic energy you excite the molecules enough to compel them to interact with other atoms and molecules. With enough kinetic energy, and the introduction of oxygen from the air around it, wood will undergo a chemical reaction called "combustion," and break down its cellulose molecules; which are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen into CO2 and H2O while also release kinetic energy in the form of heat.
Kinetic Energy deals with the energy produced as the result of motion. The flow of atoms and molecules requires energy to move, and if you are familiar with Newton's Laws of Motion, then you know this to be evident.
- Newton’s First Law: Every object persists in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed on it.
- Newton's Second Law: Force is equal to the change in momentum (mV) per change in time. For a constant mass, force equals mass times acceleration. F = m*a
- Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
All that is required is an external force to be applied. This can come from a fundamental force, like gravity, or from another system from which work is used as the external force. Any engine can be the source, but even those engines have their own energy sources.
- A hot air balloon will use a heat engine to produce less dense hot air that will fill the balloon to provide upward lift to the basket, but the engine that generates that heat will use chemical energy through combustion to generate the energy to do so.
- A manual engine, like a crank or a plow, can use the force of a human or other animal, but the work that we all generate comes from the energy we derive from food.
- Wind and hydroelectric turbines generate chemical energy from the flow of air and water respectively, but those flows are the result of their systems. In the first case, the wind caused by atmospheric differences coming from hot and cold air; is a type of heat system. In the second case, the flow of water down rivers; is a type of gravity system.
Internal Energy/Thermal Energy is merely the sum of both potential energy and kinetic energy. But reaching back to fundamentals, what is actually occurring? The answer is the movement of atoms and molecules in relation to other atoms and molecules, based on the laws of the fundamental electromagnetic force. When they translate, rotate, or vibrate, they produce energy. The repulsive force of electromagnetism bump and jostle others around. It is from the cumulative effects of the internal energy of these systems that we can dissipate or harness that energy through heat or work.
Heat is the sum of all thermal energy that is transferred to and from the system. Heat going into a system may be like the energy from a stovetop or fire being radiated and conducted into a pot of water. The thermal energy of the container is increased and is subsequently conducted into the water itself, and in turn, will result in the water in the pot boiling into a gas. The thermally energetic steam ends up carrying that energy into the surrounding air. So energy is generated from a heat source, like from the chemical energy from fire, is imparted into the pot and water, while heat leaves the system in the form of either steam or just dissipated straight into the air from the heat source itself.
Temperature is merely the average kinetic energy of the system whereas that thermal/internal energy was the sum. This average is in relation to a system. Hence the reason why a pot of boiling water will have a temperature of 212 Fahrenheit, but the temperature of the universe is -455 Fahrenheit. The pot is treated as its own system, just as the entirety of the universe is, but the average kinetic energy of the universe include the kinetic energy of that pot. The temperature of the container and water increase from external kinetic energy entering that system, but from the perspective of the universe the kinetic energy has stayed internal, and, therefore, no change.
Work deals with the mechanical transfer of energy between and within systems. Whereas heat deals with the movement of atoms and molecules through their collisions as they translate, rotate and vibrate, work deals with the directional force of atoms and molecules as they are applied to another object. Using a hammer to drive nails is such a form of work. In many instances, the execution of work generates both work and heat, just as the application of heat can be utilized for work.
In reality, since heat and work deal with the movement of atoms and molecules, the only real reason they are differentiated is for our sake. To distinguish it so that humanity may exploit the laws of thermodynamics for its benefit. When looking at the application of fundamental forces we see thermodynamics as merely a more complex application of the electromagnetic force. The dispersion of energy through entropy, and the compulsion of electrons to be given or shared; impacting the charge and polarity of molecules, are just the attractive and repulsive interactions of the electromagnetic force through the light-speed exchange of photons.
Entropy is an important concept to understand but is also a tough one to define as in many cases people just say that it something akin to dispersion or dissipation of energy. Entropy, for lack of a good definition, deals the disorder within a system. Within the contents of a system, like our universe, the more uncertain the arrangement of the atoms the higher its level of entropy. Water in its liquid phase has higher levels of entropy than in its solid phase, and even higher levels of entropy when in its gaseous phase since the molecules are moving around more freely and therefore can achieve more possible arrangements. Ice has to take a crystalline structure when forming a solid, as other solids do, and that means fewer opportunities for variability. As a law of thermodynamics, the entropy of the universe will only ever increase or remain the same, never decrease.
Enthalpy is a little easier to understand when compared to entropy. Enthalpy is the sum of internal energy added to the multiple of pressure and volume. While the math behind how enthalpy is calculated isn't necessarily crucial for our discussion, the principles behind it are. Since energy isn't created or destroyed, it merely changes form; enthalpy allows us to determine what within a system changes. For example, in a closed system, with no external energy entering that system, for one of the factors to increase one or both have to decrease, and vice versa. Since the universe contains all the energy of the universe, obviously, and the universe is expanding in all directions, that means that the volume of the universe is increasing. For enthalpy to stay the same, the internal energy and/or pressure have to decrease. Pressure is indeed decreasing as the distance of galaxies expands along with the universe.
Equilibrium is the state in which the internal energy is balanced within a single or multiple systems. This means that in a system that is in equilibrium there isn't an unbalanced distribution of energy, and entropy is at its maximum level. Equilibrium will continue to be maintained until either energy is allowed to exit or enter the system. For example, you may put an ice cube in a hot bowl of soup in the hopes of cooling it down, and in the process trying to achieve a state of equilibrium where the ice cube has melted, and the soup has cooled to a steady temperature once again.
Understanding these terms allows us to now discuss the Laws of Thermodynamics, of which there are four, and what that means to the Theory of Everything.
Zeroth Law of Thermodynamics states that a system that is in thermal equilibrium with two or more other systems also requires that those other systems are also in equilibrium with each other. This is a thermodynamic interpretation of: if A is equal to B, and B is equal to C, then A must be equal to C. Simple, yes? Since equilibrium is achieved, no significant thermodynamic actions will take place until an external force impacts the system. The reason why it's called the zeroth law is that it was a fundamental concept that had to be included but wasn't the first to be established when the school of thermodynamics had its start. Hence this is the reason we have four laws of zero through three, instead of one through four. Somewhat superficial and initially confusing, but that is what psychists determined would be best.
First Law of Thermodynamics discusses that conservation of energy, in that when energy passes from one object to another, that the energy is conserved; though it may take new forms. In this way, you may apply an external force to a system, and the energy from that force will be transferred to the system in question. So when you punch someone in the face, a thermodynamic form of work, the force of that punch sees its energy transferred into the body of the other person — those molecules of the exterior flesh that took the force transfer that energy to adjoining tissues. Like a ripple on a pond, that energy is transferred throughout the body until it is effectively dissipated, both transferred throughout the rest of the body, as well as transferred out of the body to the surrounding air and the ground.
Second Law of Thermodynamics states that the entropy of all systems that interact with one another increases over time never decreases. Since entropy relates to the degree at which atoms may occupy any position within a system, this law says that the chaos of systems is always becoming more chaotic on average. When your freezer attempts to reduce entropy inside by decreasing the temperature the energy expended to do so increased entropy in the outside environment more so than it did inside, hence the reason why the back of the freezer is hot. It is expending energy and increasing entropy outside so that it can reduce entropy inside. So when you see entropy decreased in the environment; lakes freezing over, your soup getting colder, clouds forming from vapors, then the only reason this can happen is that there are thermodynamic systems that are increasing entropy elsewhere so that they can decrease entropy there to a lesser degree.
Third Law of Thermodynamics states that as the internal energy of a system comes closer and closer to reaching zero then so too does the value of entropy. Entropy, in all its chaotic nature, is a product of energy in some form. This law means that when you remove energy from the system then entropy also drops. Absolute zero temperature, in which no atoms and molecules are moving and interacting with one another, would result in an entropy level of zero. That is because entropy requires that these particles be able to occupy multiple positions, but without energy for them to move to those positions you won't have entropy.
So with the laws of thermodynamics laid out, we can make some generalizations. All energy is conserved, though it may change its form, and that the entropy of those systems expending energy will increase over time. All around you, you will see this occurring. If you are inside a building, you will see lights and televisions, and hear the music, machinery, and appliances. If you are outside you may see the sun and stars, feel the wind blow, and sense the temperature in the air. All these are systems that derive their energy from other various thermodynamics systems.
For example, electricity used by TVs, and other electronics, come from a source which generates its power through thermodynamic engines, such as:
- The kinetic energy brought on by water flowing through a hydroelectric turbine as a result of gravity.
- The kinetic energy brought on by wind flowing through a wind turbine as a result of a heat engine of atmospheric differences caused by the sun's radiant energy.
- The chemical energy brought by the burning of fossil fuels which boils water to spin a turbine in a heat engine.
- The potential energy released by photovoltaic cells when photons from the sun force electrons loose.
- The chemical energy released from a battery charged by the mechanical energy of a human using a hand crank generator who in turn converted the food they ate into chemical energy for their muscles.
And what does the TV do with the energy? It uses it to project photons into diodes, cells, and plasma (whichever method the TV was designed to employ) which alters them so that they radiate photons at specific wavelengths that our eyes can detect, and our brains can process and perceive. Even with all this intentional use of energy, entropy increases as some energy is lost to our process, but not lost to the universe. Using the hand crank generator as a source of energy, some of the energy is lost to friction and isn't able to convert all of its work into further work and heat that we use. Some are lost as heat and is dissipated away to surrounding atoms. With friction, energy is lost when a person's arms rub against their clothing and torso as the crank is turned. With heat, muscles generate heat during the chemical processes required to activate those muscles which is then radiated throughout the body to the surrounding environment.
Even the TV itself expends energy needlessly. Not just in the form of heat, as especially those CRT TVs produce a lot of heat, but also when it radiates lights. The purpose of the TV is to emit light and audio waves so that our eyes and ears can make use of it. But they are designed to emit light and sound omnidirectionally so this means that photons and vibrations are being sent everywhere. It takes just as much energy to send photons and vibrations to your eyes and ears as it does to that wall just next to your head. But usually, within any given room the volume of the room is taken up mostly by inanimate objects absorbing and reflecting those waves instead of eyes and ears to see and hear them.
With all processes, there is some energy loss within and throughout systems since they are converted and expended elsewhere; such as the atmosphere, the ground or objects, where it serves no useful purpose for humanity. Entropy, therefore, increases as some energy being used is lost to the system, but adds to the randomness that is the universe.
For the length of human history, the forces that dictated thermodynamics weren't completely understood. Does the element of fire reside within the wood and is coaxed out by the presence of heat or another flame? When I consume the flesh of plants and animals does their life force sustain me? Humanity makes an effort to understand the complexity of the world in simple terms like these for two reasons, one, we don't like uncertainty, and two, it works for our purposes. Just like we don't fully comprehend the nature of the gravitational force, the Theory of Relativity, give us workable formulas that allow us to put satellites in orbit, send crewed missions to the moon, and probe distant planets, moons, and asteroids. Our ancestors didn't need to know that fire and sustenance both work on potential chemical energy as a complex application of the electromagnetic force. You eat food, and you feel energetic. You don't, and you feel lethargic and slowly waste away. You rub sticks together fast enough or strike certain rocks or metals together, and you can make fire. Let the fire grow, and it makes more and more fire. Finding reasons for why this is the case is merely a means to relieve that uncertainty.
Complex Applications and War Is My Business
Complex Applications and War Is My Business
How do these complex applications of the fundamental forces; the construction of the cosmos, the forging of elements and chemicals, and the workings of thermodynamics, apply to War Is My Business and the development and application of military and business theory? One of the most obvious answers would be that these are the subsequent steppingstone between the fundamental forces and the development of life.
- The forces that build the cosmos according to the laws that dictate their interactions, provide a home for life to develop.
- The forces make elements through fusion and supernovas and further build chemical through bonds, which the matter that makes up life.
- The forces dictate how energy and matter interact through the laws of thermodynamics — driving change that allows life to take shape.
These three complex applications set the conditions necessary to allow life to form, and in respect to life on Earth begin the process of adaptation and evolution that leads to humanity. We will cover that in greater detail in the next section. Our involvement, however, with these is not just limited to the formation of life, but very much play a fundamental role in the nature of warfare and commerce. By no means is this an exhaustive list, even an intensive one, but hopefully adequate to help you begin to see that these really basic phenomena have real-world uses.
In regards to the development of celestial bodies, and the creation of the solar system with its features:
The orbit of the Earth around the sun allows it to receive energy from electromagnetic radiation continually. The fossil fuels we use that power our machines and logistics are derived from biomass that used photosynthesis millions of years ago.
The rotation of the Earth, derived from the rotation of the gaseous cloud that formed our solar system, provides Earth a day and night cycle as it orbits the sun. Humanity, as other life, has evolved in the presence of this cycle, and subsequently, the time of day plays an important part in our patterns of life. While society sleeps in the dark, this provides an opportunity for movement of military forces out of the prying eyes of threats, and for freight to move goods on roadways with less traffic.
The tilt of the Earth, most likely as a result of our collision with Theia; coupled with our orbit, produces seasons. At certain times on Earth's orbit, parts of the planet will be exposed to the sun more than others. Some places will be hotter while others will be colder, and the weather will follow cycles. Life evolved in the process of seasons and humanity's exploitation, or limitation, of this, is evident. Food being an essential resource for a society to function, we see early human military campaigns planned around planting and harvesting seasons so as to allow warriors to add their muscle to cultivation. Be it through bartering or mercantile trade the production of goods from plants and animals could be based heavily on the predictability of the seasons with harvests being not only a time for celebration with festivities but also a time for prosperity in trade.
The distance between the Earth and sun, within the range we call the Goldilocks Zone, is just right for water to occur on our surface in its liquid phase naturally. Water on Earth, by virtue of that distance, can be in different phases at once based on location, time of day, and season. The majority of the Earth's surface is covered in water, more than 70%, with around two-thirds of the human population living within 100km of coastline. This is because of water's ability to be a low-friction medium for the movement of goods and people. Because of this, sea lanes for logistics are tied heavily with the maritime strategy of many nations.
With the Theory of Relativity in hand and the advent of advanced rocketry, we have been able to place satellites in orbit. These arrays of satellites are mathematically placed so that their orbits are complementary and predictable, and allow for constant communication with Earth-based systems. Global positioning systems (GPS) were initially built to allow for effective command and control of military units on the ground in real-time. Providing GPS commercial and private use has allowed for ease of tracking the flow of freight, automating agricultural machinery, allowing aircraft to fly air routes more effectively via GPS waypoints, and not to mention our everyday use of GPS to get us to unknown addresses and great distances at home.
Modern US Maritime Strategy is based around keeping access to the global commons; those sea and air lanes for international trade and transport, open too all.
In regards to atomic bonding and chemical compounds, it is practically everything we see and makes up everything we use. Even when atoms are incorporated in chemical compounds, they may otherwise be bonded to themselves. Oxygen may bond with two hydrogen atoms to make water, but it also fills its outer electron shell by bonding with another oxygen atom to produce dioxide, O2, the form of oxygen that we breathe. Here are some cross-endeavor applications of chemicals shared between warfare and business.
Water, we talked about in its importance to maritime operations, having both military and commercial value thanks to its ability to occur naturally in its liquid phase, as a chemical, has a vital part to play when we work. A human will dehydrate and suffer after high-intensity activity. Without rehydrating, after two to three days depending on activity and environment, they may die. Accounting for water consumption and availability is a significant planning factor for military operations. In hot and humid climates, death by heat exhaustion can rack up casualties as much as actual combat deaths. In U.S. businesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) even put in its regulations the requirement that companies that engage in high-intensity activity must provide potable drinking water for workers. It is through water’s attributes that made it a primary chemical in the development of life on Earth. Again, something we will discuss in the subsequent section.
“The OSHA Sanitation standard – 1926.51 – requires all employers to ensure that an adequate supply of safe, clean drinking water is available in all places of employment, including construction job sites.” by George Kennedy
Metals are beautiful in their utility, and that is due to those metallic bonds we mentioned previously. Its lattice structure and its sea of electrons make metals both strong and durable, yet malleable when put to a high enough temperature. When humanity discovered this potential, it became the primary material for all our tools. Plow heads allowed for easy tilling of soil when pulled by humans or other animals. Precious metals, due to its rarity, were used as bullion, and less precious metals were used as circulated coinage to convert goods and services into a fungible asset. And you better believe metal found its way as a material for warfare. It is durable and resilient to impacts and weathering; used as the head for axes, spears, arrows, and bolts, and as projectiles for firearms, cannons, and fragments of explosive munitions. In protection, it is used to reinforce walls and barriers, make fences and wires, and armors both medieval knights and modern tanks. When humanity learned to combine metal with other elements, they discovered some were more durable, could hold an edge longer, and required less maintenance. These alloys allowed for more effective weapons and armor for warfare, and more efficient improvements to equipment for agriculture and construction. All these are merely tools that enabled humans to accomplish tasks; slay an enemy, chop a tree, and build a home, but the versatility of metals allowed humans to do these all more efficiently. All thanks to the properties inherent in metal, which is purely a function of the electromagnetic force acting upon atomic particles.
When introducing a source of carbon into heat-treated iron, the lattice structure of iron is permeable enough for the carbon to enter. When cooled, the structure contracts its traps the iron creating the alloy, “steel.”
The sword is heated with or alongside a source of carbon in order to introduce carbon into the iron blade. The blade is then quenched in water, causing that contraction of the iron lattice and trapping the carbon; from Leon Kapp
The world of explosives is were humanity really gets into the realm of experimentation with chemicals to see what they do. Chinese chemists, in the pursuit of a potion for immortality, stumbled upon an explosive concoction of saltpeter, charcoal, and sulfur. At some time during the Tang Dynasty; 618-907 C.E., it was later weaponized during the Song Dynasty; 960-1279 C.E., as crude bombs, rockets, flamethrowers, and spread throughout the world after the Mongol conquests. This black powder, we now call "gunpowder" due to its ubiquitous use as a propellant in firearms, has a mass that is composed of:
75% Saltpeter, compound name Potassium Nitrate, whose chemical formula is KNO3, and serves as the oxidizer for the reaction.
15% Charcoal, whose chemical formula is merely C, and serves as the fuel.
10% Sulfur, by its chemical formula S, stabilizes the reaction.
Saltpeter, collected from guano on the floor and walls of caves, acts as the oxidizer in this reaction. You may be familiar with fire's need for oxygen to burn, and that is because it uses oxygen atoms as a middleman of sorts to help break apart more complex chemicals and molecules to simpler ones. The carbon of the charcoal acts as the fuel to produce heat, and begins the excitement of electrons necessary to break apart to complex potassium nitrate and allow its elements to bond to the carbon and the sulfur in a more stable arrangement. The change, however, produces significant energy, and when the powder is contained the pressure builds up. That pressure exponentially increases the internal energy of the concoction leading to the explosive reaction. That explosive reaction serves not only the purposes of the military but also commercial endeavors. Not just because cannons and firearms provided security for merchant convoys throughout history, but also the explosive nature of gunpowder lead to further developments of explosives that helped in the blasting of mines, quarries, and canals. This transitions us into the next complex application.
Depiction of a Tang Dynasty chemist inadvertently inventing gunpowder in the pursuit of an elixir of immortality.
The information behind the formula, products, and chemical equations behind contemporary gunpower.
Where thermodynamics is concerned, even if our ancestors didn't have an understanding of what was occurring at the atomic level, they still employed its laws.
In battle, when you strike an enemy what are you doing? When you fire a bullet with the intent to hit them. When you swing a sword, thrust a spear, or loose an arrow. When you punch an adversary what are you achieving? Well, your intent may be to kill or incapacitate, but ultimately you accomplish this through the First Law of Thermodynamics; which is the conservation of energy. When the bullet strikes the body of an enemy, its mass and velocity impart some or all of its kinetic energy into that body. As it travels through flesh and bone, more and more of that transitional energy is transferred to the body causing damage to tissue and organs. As the bullet enters the body, it causes damage, and if it fails to exit the body, then you know it transferred all of its kinetic energy into that body. The bullet will cut through flesh just as it cuts through the air, using its shape to reduce friction as it passes through that flesh. If that shape is warped, such as by hitting a hard object, like equipment or bone, then it can lose that low-friction shape and tumble through the body causing more considerable damage.
Fighting is therefore merely an abstract application of the employment of the First Law of Thermodynamics. The chemical energy of the food you eat is converted to potential chemical energy stored within the cells of muscles and fat that you can then convert into kinetic energy with a punch that lands on an opponent's body. The blow, when it connects, will transfer its energy to the body at the point of impact and that energy is dissipated throughout the surrounding tissue and bone.
When you carry a firearm, your weapon is loaded with bullets fixed in a brass casing filled with propellant. That propellant is potential chemical energy that is held, ready at a moment of your choosing, to eventually release its energy as both heat and pressure within the chamber. Without room to expand the gas builds up, pushing the bullet through the barrel as a form of work just as your fist was pushed forward by your muscles. As it leaves the barrel it cuts through the air. Its kinetic energy is maintained yet loses some due to friction with the air. Its velocity being slowly converted to heat and work as it fights through the atmosphere. Once it strikes your adversary, whatever energy is still providing forward movement will be used to penetrate equipment, clothing, and skin, and pushes its way through flesh and bone. It transfers the rest of its energy to that body or pushes all the way through and exits the body. At which point the remaining velocity will carry that bullet to a subsequent object.
You may have noticed that the effective use of kinetic energy as a tool for violence is to conserve as much of that energy as possible up until it can be transferred to the target. This is why martial arts focus heavily on proper body positioning and technique without needlessly wasting energy. This is why projectiles are aerodynamic — reducing energy lost when converted to heat from friction with the air.
In logistics and manufacturing, you see the business implication of both generating and applying energy for your use and finding ways to conserve that energy and not waste it unnecessarily. Long-distance logistics companies that utilize semi-trucks to deliver their loads have been utilizing aerodynamic skirts and tails in order to reduce drag. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified many kits that can provide upwards of 9% fuel efficiency as a result of less friction. With over 120,000 miles a year this 9% efficiency increase will mean a $3,000 kit will pay for itself after about a year and a half in fuel alone, not to mention the reduced wear on the engine having to put that extra work to fight the drag.
To reiterate, even though discussing the nature of complex applications will carry us forward to our next section; Life and Evolution, they obviously have tangible and direct impacts on our daily lives. While the fundamental forces dictate how these function, we are also less engaged in acknowledging their continued impact. Meaning that while we are constantly concerned about the temperature and weather, our food and drink, and the time of day, we don’t necessarily imagine a time in which the forces act any differently. We take for granted that gravity will continue to keep our feet on the ground, and that electricity will power our electronics.
These complex applications, by their nature on this Earth, have all the pieces necessary to produce life. All that was required was for time to eventually have these things come together and act accordingly. For life itself, as you will soon see, is but a chemical system. A more complex application of the complex applications that come from the forces, so to speak. A biochemical inevitability when all the factors are present. Let’s continue!