Energy is ability of the system to produce a physical work. There are two basic forms of energy: potential and kinetic. Potential energy defines the potential for physical work. Kinetic energy is the amount of manifested work. It determines the amount of motion of some system’s component, or of the system as a whole. The total energy of the system is a sum of all possible independent forms of potential and kinetic energy of system’s components. All other forms of energy (see here), such as: mechanical, thermal (heat), energy of waves, nuclear, atomic are either one specific type or a combination of both energies. The energy which can be utilized for physical work is called exergy.
Life itself depends on the ability of its components to store the energy in some kind of potential, for example, the chemical energy from the adenosine triphosphate (ATP), glycogen, fats or proteins and to convert it to some work, like mechanical (movements), electromagnetic, for example in neural processes, or heat (body temperature). This potential energy is stored within the interactions/bonds between atoms and atomic groups of these molecules.
The existence of society, itself, depends on energy. The communication between living beings depends on the energy of muscles that move our eyes, bodies and vocal cords. It also depends on the electromagnetic and sound energy that transfers our messages through the air, phones and internet. The transport of people and goods by using vehicles needs chemical (fossil fuels) or other types of energy and the heat in cold days that makes us feel comfortable is a form of energy as well.
Mass of a system in rest, on the other hand, is a measure of the amount of inertia the system has or of how strong gravitational pull it produces around it. Most known particles with rest mass are electrons, protons and neutrons. They form atoms, from which most of the objects we can see are made of. Mass of (elementary) particles is convertible to energy and vice versa, for sufficiently high energy processes .
The way in which the energy-mass is structured in space and time is information. The environmental information that we perceive around us is a structured (direct or reflected) electromagnetic energy that affects our visual system. Ambient sounds (see also here) and spoken words of people are also forms of structured energy, that is, information. The more or less structured energy (for example, heat) that impinges on systems continually perturbs their state and informs them about their environment. These perturbations permanently probe system’s stability and sometimes may lead to its restructuring or dissolution, creating a new or decreasing the previous information. For example, moderate amount of heat energy, which is a form of less structured energy, may keep us comfortable and healthy. That environmental information may make us move closer to the heat source (sun, radiator, oven, etc.). It may play a role of an attractor. More heat power may destabilize our intentions and make us get away from its vicinity, that is, repel us. Too much of heat (large perturbation) almost certainly would destabilize the functional protein structures and processes in our cells and may cause death. A moderate structured light and sound energy (e.g. music) may provide us with useful ambient information that can guide our actions, emotions or imaginations. Too much of it may destabilize the healthy state, that is, damage the healthy bodily perceptual structures, and make it a new permanently incapacitated stable state. Information can remain the same for large variations of energy-mass that conveys it. For example, a music piece can be recognized without regard whether it is played loud or more silent (within certain limits, of course).
Robert Hristovski 28.08.2015