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CONSERVATION LAWS

Team Leader: Bob Holzer


Writer: John Watson
Editor: CHAOS Communications
Producer: Michele Boniface
Content Reviewers: Donna Matovinovic
Stella Shrum

Produced by ACCESS The Education Station

© 1997 Alberta Education

Published & Distributed by…

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CONSERVATION LAWS

Teacher’s Guide
Table of Contents

Introduction ............................................................1
Program Summary ................................................1
Links to Curriculum Standards ...........................1
Pre-Test ....................................................................3
Teacher Preparation/Instructional Notes ..........3
Student Objectives .................................................3
Student Preparation...............................................4
Blackline Masters ...................................................4
Answer Key ............................................................5
Script of Video Narration .....................................9

This video is closed captioned

The purchase of this video program entitles the user to the


right to reproduce or duplicate, in whole or in part, this
teacher's guide and the blackline master handouts that accom-
pany it for the purpose of teaching in conjunction with this
video, Conservation Laws. This right is restricted only for use
with this video program. Any reproduction or duplication in
whole or in part of this guide and the blackline master hand-
outs for any purpose other than for use with this video pro-
gram is prohibited.

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INTRODUCTION
This Teacher’s Guide accompanies Program Twenty, “Con-
servation Laws,” from the Simply Science series.

Simply Science is a series of twenty-five science programs


for high school students. These instructional programs use
practical applications as context to the interdisciplinary con-
cept development emphasizing the connections among sci-
ence, technology, and society. This comprehensive
Teacher’s Guide and accompanying blackline master ac-
tivity sheets provide extended practice and additional learn-
ing opportunities.

PROGRAM SUMMARY
“Conservation Laws” reviews some of the basic concepts
behind all science. The investigations conducted by
van Helmont, Joule, and Lavoisier are discussed. The con-
nection between those experiments and fundamental sci-
entific laws is a key concept. Joule’s work leads us to cal-
culations of kinetic energy and gravitational potential en-
ergy.

LINKS TO CURRICULUM STANDARDS


“Conservation Laws” correlates with the following Na-
tional Science Education Standards for grades 9-12:
Physical Science: Motion and force
• Objects change their motion only when a net force is
applied. Laws of motion are used to calculate precisely the
effects of forces on the motion of objects. The magnitude
of the change in motion can be calculated using the rela-
tionship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the
force. Whenever one object exerts force on another, a force
equal in magnitude and opposite in direction is exerted on
the first object.
Physical Science: Conservation of energy and the increase
in disorder
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• The total energy of the universe is constant. Energy can


be transferred by collisions in chemical and nuclear reac-
tions, by light waves and other radiations, and in many
other ways. However, it can never be destroyed. As these
transfers occur, the matter involved becomes steadily less
ordered.
• All energy can be considered to be either kinetic energy,
which is energy of motion; potential energy, which depends
on relative position; or energy contained by a field, such as
electromagnetic waves.
• Everything tends to become less organized and less or-
derly over time. Thus, in all energy transfers, the overall
effect is that the energy is spread out uniformly. Examples
are the transfer of energy from hotter to cooler objects by
conduction, radiation, or convection and the warming of
our surroundings when we burn fuels.
Life Science: Matter, energy, and organization in living sys-
tems
• As matter and energy flows through different levels of
organization of living systems cells, organs, organisms,
communities and between living systems and the physi-
cal environment, chemical elements are recombined in dif-
ferent ways. Each recombination results in storage and
dissipation of energy into the environment as heat. Matter
and energy are conserved in each change.
Earth and Space Science: Geochemical cycles
• Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by the
earth's internal and external sources of energy. These move-
ments are often accompanied by a change in the physical
and chemical properties of the matter. Carbon, for example,
occurs in carbonate rocks such as limestone, in the atmo-
sphere as carbon dioxide gas, in water as dissolved carbon
dioxide, and in all organisms as complex molecules that
control the chemistry of life.

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PRE-TEST
A Pre-Test is included with the Blackline Masters for this
program. It is meant to be administered before the video
and its ensuing activities are used. This assessment tool
allows you to gauge student comprehension of the Objec-
tives before completing the lesson; its results may be con-
trasted with those of the Post-Test, also included herein, to
assess comprehension of the Objectives after completing
the lesson.

TEACHER PREPARATION/INSTRUCTIONAL NOTES


Before presenting this lesson to your students we suggest
that you preview the video and review this guide, and the
accompanying blackline master activities in order to famil-
iarize yourself with their content.

As you review the materials presented in this guide, you


may find it necessary to make some changes, additions, or
deletions to meet the specific needs of your class. We en-
courage you to do so, for only by tailoring this program to
your class will they obtain the maximum instructional ben-
efits afforded by the materials.

It is also suggested that the video presentation take place


before the entire group under your supervision. The les-
son activities grow out of the context of the video, there-
fore, the presentation should be a common experience for
all students.

STUDENT OBJECTIVES
After viewing the video and participating in the follow-up
activities, students will be able to:
• Identify evidence for the conservation of mass.
• Apply the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
• Define and calculate kinetic energy.
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• Define and calculate gravitational potential energy.


• Identify various forms of energy.
• Appreciate that chemical, physical and biological
systems are all subject to the same basic laws.

STUDENT PREPARATION
This video is one of a series. Before students view this pro-
gram and complete the follow-up activities, they should
be able to:
1. Explain the meaning of the phrase, “Matter is conserved
in a closed system.”
In a system in which matter cannot enter or leave, the total mass,
and therefore the total number of atoms, does not change.
2. Write a balanced chemical equation for the photosyn-
thesis reaction.
6CO2(g) + 6H2O(l) + energy →C6H12O6(s) + 6H2O(g)
3. Use coefficients to balance the following chemical reac-
tion equation: Al(s) + Br2(l) → AlBr3(s)
2Al(s) + 3Br2(l) → 2AlBr3(s)
4. Identify the units used to measure energy and work.
The unit of energy and work is the joule.
If students have difficulty with any of the items, you should
review the concepts in reference materials before viewing
the video.

BLACKLINE MASTERS
The following blackline master activity sheets are included
with this guide. Duplicate and distribute those you wish to
use. An Answer Key appears on pages 5-8.
(1.) Blackline Master #1: Pre-Test is to be given to your
students prior to viewing the video to assess their prior
knowledge of the topic. It may be contrasted to Blackline
Master #9: Post-Test to gauge student comprehension of
the Objectives after the lesson has been completed.
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(2.) Blackline Master #2: Glossary is a list of terms from


the video. Students may find this handout helpful when
completing the activities which accompany this lesson, as
well as for preparation for the Post-Test.
(3.) Blackline Master #3: A Valiant Effort asks students
to identify various factors in van Helmont’s experiment.
(4.) Blackline Master #4: Smoke and Matters explores
the process of composting.
(5.) Blackline Masters #5a-5b: Energy on the Move as-
signs a mathematical equation to the calculation of kinetic
energy.
(6.) Blackline Masters #6a-6b: Potential Energy explores
the formula used to calculate gravitational potential energy.
(7.) Blackline Master #7: A Joule of an Idea examines
James Prescott Joule’s experiments with work.
(8.) Blackline Master #8: Energy investigates useful and
waste energy.
(9.) Blackline Masters #9a-9d: Post-Test is an assessment
tool to be used after the video and follow-up activities have
been completed. The test is based directly on the Student
Objectives for this program and the National Science Edu-
cation Standards for grades 9-12.

ANSWER KEY
Blackline Master #1: Pre-Test
1.F
2.T
3.T
4.F
5.F
6.T
7.T
8.T
9.F
10.F
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Blackline Masters #3-8


Note that some of these questions have more than one
possible answer.
1. Manipulated variable: time
Responding variable: change in mass Controlled
variables: nutrients received
2. To improve the experimental design requires monitor-
ing the atmosphere around the plant.
3. Newton meant his accomplishments were made
possible, in part, because of the work others had done
before him.
4. a. This is a prediction.
b. The energy is released as a result of
the cellular respiration by the decay of organisms.
c. manipulated variable: contents of the container;
responding variable: temperature;
controlled variables: time, environmental
conditions
5. Two flasks containing identical clippings would be
subjected to identical conditions except air circulation
should be stopped in one and not the other.
6. Ek = 13 J
7. m = 54 kg
1
8. Ek = mv2
2
2Ek = mv2 multiply by 2

v2 = 2Ek divide by m
m
2Ek take the square root
v=
m

9. v = 29.6 m/s
10. The billiard ball has greater potential energy because
it has greater mass.
11. Ep = 6.7 J (remember to convert grams to kilograms!)

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12. Ep = mgh divide both sides by gh


Ep
m=
gh

13. Ep = 4.1 × 105 J (or 0.41 MJ)

14. Ep = mgh
Ep
m= gh
4.8 × 105 kg • m2
2

s
m= m
(9.81 2 ) (650 m)
s

m = 75 kg

15. a. Kinetic energy of the moving arm becomes kinetic


energy of the sand. Friction between the sand
grains results in an increase of thermal energy in the
sand.
(The kinetic energy was originally chemical potential
energy in the body tissues.)
b. No, careful measurements of the input and output
energy would be required.
16. m = 0.5(5.0 L)(1 kg) = 2.5 kg = 2.5 × 103 g
Q = mc∆t
= (2.5 × 103 4)(4.19 J/4˚7)(63˚7)
= 6.6 × 105 J or 0.66 MJ
17. The second law of thermodynamics says that heat
always flows from a hotter to a cooler object. During
diffusion, matter moves from a higher to a lower
concentration. So the two are very similar. They are
different, however, in that heat is not a substance, and
only matter can diffuse.
Blackline Masters #9a-9d: Post-Test
Multiple Choice
1. b. dependent variable
2. c. Antoine Lavoisier
3. d. all of the above
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Long Answer
1. That the tree interacts with the atmosphere as well as
the soil.
2. 2 HgO(s) + energy –––> 2Hg(l) + O2(g)
2Mg(s) + O2(g) –––> 2 MgO(s)
3. In a chemical reaction mass is conserved.
4. carbon dioxide is released through stomata
carbon dioxide is released when the tree burns
carbon is returned to the biosphere when the tree de-
composes
5. Ek = 1/2mv2
6. Ek = 1/2mv2
= 1/2(57.2 kg)(4.00 m/s)2
Ek =458 J
7. gravitational potential energy of the ball is converted to
kinetic energy
8. Ep = mgh
= (20.5 kg)(9.81 m/s2)(2.00 m)
Ep = 402 J
9. a. A remote controlled car power by a 9.0 volt bat-
tery; chemical potential energy of the battery in, kinetic
energy of the car out
b. A cyclist coasting downhill; gravitational potential
energy in, kinetic energy out
c. A log burning; chemical potential energy of the log
in, thermal energy, light out
10. sugar cane; corn (wheat and other grains)
11. Ep = mgh
h = Ep / mg
= (7.36 J) / (0.500 kg)(9.81 m/s2)
h = 1.50 m
12. They are both captured and converted solar en-
ergy.
13. conservation of energy ; energy can be trans-
formed from one form to another but it cannot be
destroyed
14. heat; He measured the amount of work done
turning a paddle wheel in a closed container full of
water. He compared the initial and final temperature of
the water to determine the amount of thermal energy
gained.
15. flows always flows from matter at a higher tem-
perature to matter at a lower temperature; useful en-
ergy diminishes with every energy conversion
16. temperature difference
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SCRIPT OF NARRATION

DANA: ACTION. REACTION. MOTION. OVER THE YEARS, MANY


PEOPLE HAVE TRIED TO DESIGN A SYSTEM THAT WOULD RUN
FOREVER — A SYSTEM YOU COULD SET IN MOTION THAT
WOULD NEVER NEED ANY MORE ENERGY ADDED — SOME-
THING CALLED A “PERPETUAL MOTION MACHINE.” NO ONE’S
COME UP WITH ONE YET. WHY IS THAT? THE ANSWER IS SIM-
PLY SCIENCE. SCIENTISTS USE EXPERIMENTS TO TRY TO FIGURE
OUT HOW THE WORLD WORKS. THEY ASK THE QUESTION
“WHAT IF?” AND THEN THEY RECORD THEIR OBSERVATIONS.
FINALLY, THEY SUGGEST A THEORY TO EXPLAIN WHAT THEY
HAVE OBSERVED. IF ENOUGH EXPERIMENTS SUPPORT THE
CONCEPT OF A THEORY, SCIENTISTS CALL IT A LAW. SCIENCE
IS ABOUT TRIAL AND ERROR. DESPITE THEIR MANY ACHIEVE-
MENTS, EVEN SOME OF THE GREATEST MINDS IN SCIENCE
HAVE BEEN FRUSTRATED BY THEIR ATTEMPTS TO UNLOCK
NATURE’S SECRETS.
JENNIFER: IN THE 1600’S, A BELGIAN DOCTOR NAMED JAN VAN
HELMONT WONDERED WHERE PLANT MATTER CAME FROM.
JOHN: HE USED A FURNACE TO DRY ABOUT 91 KILOGRAMS OF
SOIL. THEN HE PLANTED A TREE WITH A MASS OF ABOUT 2.25
KILOGRAMS IN THE SOIL.
JENNIFER: FOR ABOUT FIVE YEARS VAN HELMONT KEPT THE
SOIL IN THE POT COVERED SO THAT NO DUST WOULD ENTER.
THE ONLY THING HE ADDED WAS DISTILLED WATER.
JOHN: WHICH MEANS IT’S NOT REALLY A CLOSED SYSTEM,
BECAUSE IT’S RECEIVING MATTER — OR WATER — FROM THE
OUTSIDE. AT THE END OF FIVE YEARS, VAN HELMONT DUG UP
THE TREE AND WEIGHED IT. HE DISCOVERED THE SOIL HAD
LOST 0.275 KILOGRAMS, BUT THE TREE HAD GAINED 75 KILO-
GRAMS.
JENNIFER: OBVIOUSLY THE INCREASE IN THE TREE’S MASS
DIDN’T COME FROM THE SOIL. SO WHERE DID IT COME FROM?
JOHN: VAN HELMONT THOUGHT HE HAD CONTROLLED ALL
THE MATTER ENTERING AN OTHERWISE CLOSED SYSTEM. SO
HE CONCLUDED THE 75 KILOGRAMS OF WOOD, BARK, AND
LEAVES WERE FORMED ENTIRELY FROM THE WATER.

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BRENDON: HOW DO PLANTS CONVERT CARBON DIOXIDE INTO


FOOD?
MIKE APPS: THROUGH THE PROCESS OF PHOTOSYNTHESIS.
SOLAR ENERGY HELPS THE CHLOROPHYLL MOLECULES TO
CHANGE CARBON DIOXIDE INTO SUGARS AND OTHER CAR-
BOHYDRATES IN THE LEAVES.
BRENDON: I KNOW THAT VAN HELMONT TRIED TO ISOLATE A
SYSTEM COMPLETELY. I GUESS HE DIDN’T TAKE INTO AC-
COUNT PHOTOSYNTHESIS.
MIKE APPS: IN FACT, IF YOU MEASURE THE MASS OF A TREE,
AND YOU BREAK IT DOWN INTO ITS VARIOUS PARTS, YOU’LL
FIND THAT THE TREE HAS ABOUT 50% OF ITS MASS IN WATER.
AND ALL OF THAT CAME FROM THE ROOTS. THE REMAINING
50% — HALF OF IT IS, IN FACT, CARBON. AND ALL OF THAT
CAME FROM THE LEAVES THROUGH PHOTOSYNTHESIS. SO
ABOUT 25% OF THE MASS OF A TREE, ROUGHLY, IS CARBON
THAT’S BEEN REMOVED FROM THE ATMOSPHERE.
DANA: SO THE ANSWER, IN PART AT LEAST, IS THAT PLANT
MATTER COMES FROM CARBON DIOXIDE IN THE AIR. VAN
HELMONT NEVER EVEN CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY THAT
AIR COULD TAKE PLACE IN A CHEMICAL REACTION. IT WASN’T
REALLY VAN HELMONT’S FAULT. SCIENCE IN THE 1600’S JUST
DIDN’T HAVE THE KNOWLEDGE BASE TO ANSWER THE QUES-
TION HE ASKED. VAN HELMONT’S EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN WAS
SOLID. HIS SYSTEM JUST WASN’T AS CLOSED AS HE THOUGHT.
TARA: WHEN A LOG BURNS, WE END UP WITH A PILE OF ASHES.
SO WHERE DOES EVERYTHING GO? IT DIDN’T SEEM TO MAKE
THAT MUCH SMOKE.
DANA: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CHEMICAL REAC-
TION WE CALL PHOTOSYNTHESIS?
JENNIFER: WELL, CARBON DIOXIDE AND WATER COMBINED
WITH ENERGY GIVES US OXYGEN AND GLUCOSE.
DANA: GOOD. NOW, HOW ABOUT USING SYMBOLS, JOHN.
JOHN: WE’VE GOT IT HERE:
DANA: RIGHT. BUT WHEN WE USE SYMBOLS, WE HAVE TO
MAKE SURE WE BALANCE THE EQUATION.
JOHN: SO WE GET:
DANA: GOOD. NOW LOOK AT THIS. WHAT ATOMS DO WE HAVE

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IN THE REACTANTS?
JENNIFER: WELL, THERE ARE 6 CARBON HERE. AND FOR OXY-
GEN WE HAVE 6 TIMES 2 IS 12, AND 6 MORE IS 18.
JOHN: AND 6 TIMES 2 IS 12 HYDROGEN.
DANA: RIGHT.\E AND BECAUSE WE BALANCED THE EQUA-
TION, WE KNOW THAT THE ATOMS PRESENT IN THE REAC-
TANTS ARE PRESENT IN THE PRODUCTS.
JOHN: THAT’S IMPORTANT.
DANA: WELL, IT SEEMS THAT IN A CHEMICAL REACTION AT-
OMS ARE NEVER CREATED OR DESTROYED.
JENNIFER: THEY JUST CHANGE PLACES.
DANA: AND WHERE DOES THE MASS OF AN OBJECT COME
FROM?
JENNIFER: THE ATOMS.
JOHN: SO IN A CHEMICAL REACTION, MASS IS NEVER CREATED
OR DESTROYED EITHER.
SCOTT: IN 1774, ANTOINE LAVOISIER PERFORMED AN EXPERI-
MENT IN A CLOSED SYSTEM SO THAT NO MATTER COULD EN-
TER OR LEAVE ONCE THE
REACTION HAD BEGUN. LAVOISIER USED MERCURY (II) OX-
IDE. BUT MERCURY IS A TOXIC SUBSTANCE, SO IT’S SAFER TO
USE MAGNESIUM. JUST LIKE LAVOISIER, WE CAREFULLY MEA-
SURE THE MASS OF THE REACTANT, PLACE IT IN A CLOSED SYS-
TEM AND IGNITE IT. THIS CREATES AN EXOTHERMIC REAC-
TION: WHEN WE MEASURE THE MASS OF THE PRODUCTS, WE
DISCOVER THE TOTAL MASS OF THE PRODUCTS IS IDENTICAL
TO THE TOTAL MASS OF THE REACTANTS. LAVOISIER CON-
CLUDED THAT ALTHOUGH ATOMS HAD REARRANGED THEM-
SELVES, THEY WERE ALL ACCOUNTED FOR. RESTATED,
LAVOISIER’S CONCLUSIONS BECAME KNOWN AS THE “LAW OF
CONSERVATION OF MASS.”
BRENDON: WE TALKED ABOUT PHOTOSYNTHESIS AFFECTING
THE AMOUNT OF CARBON. NOW, HOW WOULD A FIRE AFFECT
THE AMOUNT OF CARBON?
MIKE APPS: THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION, BECAUSE WE OFTEN
FORGET ABOUT FIRE. BUT FIRE IS ANOTHER WAY BY WHICH
THE CARBON THAT’S BEEN FIXED IN THE TREE, THROUGH PHO-
TOSYNTHESIS, ENDS UP GOING BACK TO THE ATMOSPHERE. A

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FIRE GOES THROUGH AND IT BURNS PART OF THE TREE, AND


THE COMBUSTION PRODUCTS — THAT’S CARBON DIOXIDE,
CARBON MONOXIDE, AND JUST A LITTLE BIT OF METHANE —
GO BACK UP INTO THE ATMOSPHERE. BUT THE EFFECT OF THE
FIRE IS NOT PRIMARILY THAT COMBUSTION. IT DOESN’T RE-
LEASE IT ONLY THROUGH THAT MECHANISM AND RELEASE
THE CARBON BACK TO THE ATMOSPHERE. IT ALSO PUTS A
WHOLE BUNCH OF CARBON ONTO THE FOREST FLOOR — DEAD
TREES, DEAD BRANCHES, AND SO ON — WHICH ARE THEN
EATEN BY THE ANIMALS THAT LIVE ON THE FOREST FLOOR,
DECOMPOSED BY THE MACROFUNGI AND THE OTHER PRO-
CESSES ON THE FOREST FLOOR. AND THAT RESPIRATION FROM
THOSE ORGANISMS RELEASES CARBON DIOXIDE BACK TO THE
ATMOSPHERE.\E
BRENDON: BUT I THOUGHT THE AMOUNT OF CARBON THAT
GOES INTO THE SYSTEM HAS TO EQUAL THE AMOUNT THAT
COMES OUT.
MIKE APPS: YOU’VE GOT IT. THAT’S THE CONSERVATION LAW.
BUT IT’S NOT NECESSARILY ALL THAT GOES IN HAS TO COME
OUT. IT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WHAT GOES IN AND
COMES OUT, AND REMAINS THERE. CARBON CAN’T BE CRE-
ATED OR DESTROYED. SO THE CARBON THAT CAME IN, EITHER
REMAINS IN THE SYSTEM — ON THE FOREST FLOOR, OR IN THE
SOILS, OR IN THE TREES — OR IS RESPIRED BACK OUT TO THE
ATMOSPHERE THROUGH FIRE AND THROUGH THE DECOMPO-
SITION PROCESSES OF ANIMALS LIVING OFF IT. SO CONSERVA-
TION IS WHAT IT’S ABOUT. IT HAS TO STAY SOMEWHERE, AND
WE HAVE TO ACCOUNT FOR ALL OF IT.
TARA: SO WHEN A TREE GROWS, IT USES PHOTOSYNTHESIS TO
TURN CARBON DIOXIDE INTO PLANT MATERIAL. AND WHEN
IT BURNS, THE PROCESS IS REVERSED. SOME OF THE MASS GOES
UP THE CHIMNEY IN THE FORM OF COMBUSTION GASES, AND
SOME IS REDUCED TO ASH.\E BUT IT’S
ALL ACCOUNTED FOR.
JENNIFER: TAKE TWO FLASKS. LABEL THEM “A” AND “B.” FILL
“B” WITH GRASS CLIPPINGS.
JOHN: SUSPEND A THERMOMETER IN EACH. USE COTTON
WOOL IN THE NECKS TO HOLD THE THERMOMETER.

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JENNIFER: AND RECORD THE TEMPERATURE OF EACH.


JOHN: LEAVE THEM BOTH FOR A DAY OR TWO, THEN CHECK
THE TEMPERATURES AGAIN.
JENNIFER: WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN?
TARA: SCIENTISTS PUT ALL FORMS OF ENERGY INTO GROUPS,
THOSE THAT SHOW MOTION AND THOSE THAT DON’T. IF IT
MOVES, WE SAY IT HAS KINETIC ENERGY.
SAMMY: KINETIC. IT’S FROM THE GREEK WORD “KINETIKOS.”
IT MEANS “MOTION.”
TARA: KINETIC ENERGY IS MOTION. SO THE FASTER AN OB-
JECT MOVES, THE MORE KINETIC ENERGY IT HAS.
FRED: KINETIC ENERGY IS ALSO RELATED TO MASS. IF TWO
OBJECTS ARE TRAVELING AT THE SAME SPEED, THE ONE WITH
MORE MASS WILL HAVE MORE KINETIC ENERGY.
DANA: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN KINETIC ENERGY, MASS,
AND SPEED IS REPRESENTED BY THE EQUATION: EK EQUALS
1/2 MV SQUARED, WHERE
“EK” IS THE KINETIC ENERGY OF THE OBJECT, “M” IS THE
OBJECT’S MASS, AND “V” IS THE OBJECT’S SPEED. OKAY, JOHN.
SUPPOSE JENNIFER RIDES HER BIKE AT 3.0 METERS PER SECOND.
HOW MUCH KINETIC ENERGY WOULD SHE AND THE BIKE
HAVE?
JOHN: WELL, THE FORMULA FOR KINETIC ENERGY IS:
DANA: RIGHT.
JENNIFER: AND MY BIKE HAS A MASS OF 12.3 KILOGRAMS, AND
I’M 54 1/2 KILOGRAMS. SO THE TOTAL MASS IS —
JOHN: 66.8 KILOGRAMS. AND YOU SAID THAT V IS EQUAL TO
3.0 METERS PER SECOND.
DANA: RIGHT.
JENNIFER: SO EK EQUALS:
JOHN: WHICH IS:
DANA: NICE WORK.\E ENERGY ON THE MOVE IS KINETIC EN-
ERGY. THE AMOUNT OF KINETIC ENERGY A BODY OR OBJECT
HAS DEPENDS ON THE MASS OF THE BODY AND THE SPEED AT
WHICH IT IS TRAVELING. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN KI-
NETIC ENERGY, MASS, AND SPEED IS REPRESENTED BY THE
EQUATION: EK EQUALS 1/2 MV SQUARED.
LAUREEN: WHEN THIS CAR MOVES, IT HAS KINETIC ENERGY.

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BUT WHAT ABOUT AN OBJECT THAT ISN’T MOVING? DOES IT


HAVE ANY ENERGY AT ALL? AND IF NOT, WHERE DOES THE
ENERGY FOR MOTION COME FROM?
TARA: SO HOW DOES THIS WORK?
STEVE COTTON: OKAY. THE WEIGHT IS CONNECTED TO THE
CHAIN, WHICH APPLIES A FORCE TO THE MECHANISM. THIS
MAKES THE CLOCK RUN.
TARA: SO THE KINETIC ENERGY IN THE WEIGHT IS TRANS-
FERRED TO THE MECHANISM IN THE CLOCK, AND THAT’S
WHAT MAKES THE HANDS GO ‘ROUND?
STEVE COTTON: THAT’S CORRECT. BY PULLING ON THE CHAIN,
YOU RAISE THE WEIGHT TO THE VERY TOP, AND THAT APPLIES
A FORCE TO THE MECHANISM. THE CLOCK RUNS UNTIL THE
WEIGHT GOES RIGHT DOWN, TOUCHES THE FLOOR, AND THEN
THE CLOCK STOPS.
DANA: WE PULL THIS WEIGHT TO THE TOP, AND JUST BEFORE
IT STARTS TO MOVE DOWN, IT HAS NO KINETIC ENERGY. BUT
BECAUSE IT HAS THE ABILITY TO MOVE, WE SAY IT HAS “PO-
TENTIAL ENERGY.” AND ONCE IT STARTS MOVING, THE
WEIGHT’S POTENTIAL ENERGY IS TRANSFORMED INTO KI-
NETIC ENERGY. POTENTIAL ENERGY — ENERGY THAT’S STORED
— JUST WAITING TO BE USED.
FRED: A CHARGED BATTERY HAS STORED CHEMICAL POTEN-
TIAL ENERGY. WE RELEASE THAT POTENTIAL ENERGY AS ELEC-
TRICAL ENERGY.
TARA: WE GET OUR ENERGY FROM FOOD. PLANTS TAKE IN
THEIR ENERGY FROM THE SUN AND USE PHOTOSYNTHESIS TO
STORE IT AS CHEMICAL POTENTIAL ENERGY. WHEN WE EAT
THE FOOD, OUR BODIES RELEASE THE POTENTIAL ENERGY
AND PUT IT TO USE.
DANA: THE KINETIC ENERGY OF THIS WEIGHT IS A RESULT OF
THE EARTH’S GRAVITY ACTING ON IT. SO THE POTENTIAL EN-
ERGY OF THE WEIGHT IS CALLED “GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL
ENERGY.” IF THE MASS OF AN OBJECT IS GREATER, THE GRAVI-
TATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY INCREASES. SIMILARLY, THE
GREATER THE HEIGHT...THE GREATER THE POTENTIAL ENERGY.
GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY CAN BE CALCULATED
USING THE EQUATION: EP EQUALS MGH. WHERE “EP” IS THE

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GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE OBJECT, MEA-


SURED IN JOULES. “M” IS THE MASS OF THE OBJECT, MEASURED
IN KILOGRAMS. “G” IS THE ACCELERATION OF ANY OBJECT
FALLING TOWARD EARTH AS A RESULT OF THE GRAVITA-
TIONAL FORCE. IT’S MEASURED IN METERS PER SECOND
SQUARED. AND FINALLY, “H” IS THE OBJECT’S VERTICAL DIS-
TANCE FROM THE REFERENCE POSITION. WE MEASURE THAT
IN METERS.
JOHN: WE’VE GOT THREE PLASTICINE BALLS WITH DIFFERENT
MASSES: 0.02213 KILOGRAMS, 0.03960 KILOGRAMS, AND 0.08274
KILOGRAMS.
JENNIFER: WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH GRAVITATIONAL
POTENTIAL ENERGY EACH ONE HAS BY USING THE FORMULA:
EP EQUALS MGH.
JOHN: THERE ARE THE MASSES, AND WE KNOW G IS THE AC-
CELERATION OF AN OBJECT FALLING TOWARD THE EARTH
BECAUSE OF GRAVITATIONAL FORCE.
JENNIFER: WHICH IS 9.81 METERS PER SECOND SQUARED.\E
AND H IS 0.916 METERS.
JOHN: SO THE GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE
TURQUOISE BALL IS:
JENNIFER: WHICH IS 0.199 JOULES.
JOHN: AND THE GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY OF THE
OTHER TWO BALLS IS —
JENNIFER: 0.356 JOULES AND 0.743 JOULES.
JOHN: NOW LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE CONVERT
THE GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY INTO KINETIC EN-
ERGY.
DANA: ETHANOL IS A CHEMICAL PRODUCED WHEN YEAST
BREAKS DOWN THE SUGARS IN PLANT MATERIAL. IT CAN BE
USED AS AN ALTERNATE FUEL SOURCE FOR AUTOMOBILES. IN
NORTH AMERICA, ETHANOL IS PRODUCED FROM CORN,
WHEAT, AND OTHER GRAINS. BUT BRAZIL IS THE
WORLD LEADER IN METHANOL USE. MILLIONS OF AUTOMO-
BILES RUN ON FUEL PRODUCED FROM SUGAR CANE. IT’S EVEN
MORE POPULAR THAN GASOLINE. IN ADDITION, FURTHER
PROCESSING PRODUCES A CHEMICAL THAT CAN BE USED TO
MAKE PLASTICS, PAINTS, AND SOLVENTS. THE FIBER LEFT OVER

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CAN BE BURNED AS FUEL FOR THE SUGAR FACTORY, OR USED


TO MAKE A GAS SIMILAR TO NATURAL GAS. POTENTIAL
ENERGY...IN SUGAR CANE.
BRENDON: WE TALKED ABOUT THE CONSERVATION OF CAR-
BON. WHAT ABOUT ENERGY? ISN’T THAT CONSERVED?
MIKE APPS: OH, YES. IN FACT, IT’S A LITTLE BIT HARDER TO
SEE, BUT SOLAR ENERGY DRIVES EVERYTHING THAT WE SEE
AROUND US. SOLAR ENERGY DRIVES THE PHOTOSYNTHESIS
PROCESS, AND WE HAVE THIS SOLAR ENERGY BEING CON-
VERTED INTO CHEMICAL ENERGY — A KIND OF POTENTIAL EN-
ERGY, IF YOU LIKE. THAT CHEMICAL ENERGY IN THE FOOD
THAT’S PRODUCED AT THE LEAF, THEN IS USED ALL THE WAY
DOWN THROUGH THE TREE TO MAINTAIN ITS GROWTH, TO
MAINTAIN ITS STRUCTURE, TO MAKE THE TREE WORK. AND
IT’S THE BURNING OF FOOD, OR THE EATING OF THAT FOOD
BY THE TREE ITSELF, THAT GIVES THE RESPIRATION THAT
YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT. IT ALSO ENDS UP BEING IN SOME OF
THE WOOD MATERIAL THAT ENDS UP ON THE FOREST FLOOR
THAT DRIES AND GIVES THE ENERGY TO THE ANIMALS THAT
LIVE ON IT. SO ENERGY IS CONSERVED BY THE PHOTOSYNTHE-
SIS TURNING INTO CHEMICAL ENERGY, AND THEN BEING
BURNED LATER ON.
LAUREEN: POTENTIAL ENERGY. IT’S THE ENERGY STORED IN
AN OBJECT. CHEMICAL POTENTIAL ENERGY BECOMES ELEC-
TRICAL ENERGY. GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY BE-
COMES KINETIC. AND THE SUGAR IN PLANTS, WITH ITS CHEMI-
CAL POTENTIAL ENERGY CONVERTED TO ETHANOL, BECOMES
THERMAL ENERGY, AND EVENTUALLY KINETIC ENERGY.
JENNIFER: IN THE MID-1800’S, JAMES PRESCOTT JOULE BUILT A
MACHINE THAT USED WEIGHTS TO SPIN PADDLES AROUND
IN A CONTAINER OF WATER.
JOHN: HE RECORDED THE TEMPERATURE OF THE WATER.
OURS IS 20 DEGREES CELSIUS.
JENNIFER: HE THEN SPUN THE PADDLES OF HIS MACHINE
AROUND IN THE WATER.
JOHN: WHEN HE CHECKED THE TEMPERATURE OF THE WA-
TER AGAIN, HE FOUND IT HAD INCREASED. OURS IS 20.5 DE-
GREES CELSIUS.

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JENNIFER: SO JOULE CONCLUDED THAT MECHANICAL EN-


ERGY CAN BE CONVERTED TO THERMAL ENERGY.
DANA: JOULE TOOK THE EXPERIMENT ONE STEP FURTHER. HE
CALCULATED HOW MUCH MECHANICAL ENERGY WAS
NEEDED TO SPIN THE PADDLES AND COMPARED THAT TO THE
INCREASE IN WATER TEMPERATURE. IN OTHER WORDS, HE DE-
TERMINED THE “MECHANICAL EQUIVALENT OF HEAT.” HIS
FINDINGS FORMED THE BASIS FOR THE “FIRST LAW OF THER-
MODYNAMICS.”
RANIA: COULD YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT
THIS HOUSE?
JORG OSTROWSKI: WELL, THERE’S MANY DIFFERENT FEATURES
ABOUT THIS HOUSE THAT ARE UNIQUE AND INTERESTING.\E
AND ONE OF THE FEATURES IS THAT IT’S BUILT TO BE TOTALLY
SELF-SUFFICIENT, WHICH MEANS THAT IT CAN OPERATE WITH-
OUT BEING CONNECTED TO THE SEWER, TO THE GAS LINE, OR
THE ELECTRICITY GRID. SO THIS HOUSE HAS NO FURNACE,
HAS NO GAS LINE, AND HAS NO BOILER.
RANIA: SO IT CONVERTS SOLAR ENERGY TO THERMAL ENERGY
TO HEAT THE HOUSE?
JORG OSTROWSKI: YEAH.
FRED: THE THERMAL ENERGY IN MATTER IS CAUSED BY THE
RANDOM MOTION OF MOLECULES.
TARA: WHEN THE MOLECULES OF TWO OBJECTS — ORIGI-
NALLY AT DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES — COME INTO CONTACT
WITH EACH OTHER, THEY TRANSFER THERMAL ENERGY.
FRED: THE THERMAL ENERGY OF THE FIRE IS TRANSFERRED
TO THE KETTLE, AND THEN TO THE WATER.
TARA: AND SOON IT’LL HEAT UP THIS CUP.
FRED: THE TRANSFER OF THERMAL ENERGY IS WHAT WE CALL
“HEAT.”
TARA: AND HEAT ALWAYS FLOWS FROM WARM OBJECTS TO
COOLER ONES. THAT’S THE “SECOND LAW OF THERMODY-
NAMICS.”
RANIA: HOW DOES THE ENERGY THAT’S ABSORBED GET RE-
CYCLED?
JORG OSTROWSKI: THE RADIATION AND THE CONVECTION
PRODUCES A MICROCLIMATE INSIDE THE HOUSE. THAT’S VERY,

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VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE COLD WINTER WEATHER THAT IS


OUTSIDE. AND SO THE SUN HAS BEEN ABSORBED DURING THE
DAY, ONTO THE BRICK, AND ONTO THE DARK TILES IN THE
FLOOR. THAT HEAT IS JUST GIVEN OFF BY RADIATION
THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE HOUSE. AS THE AIR IS WARMED
UP, THAT WARM AIR JUST ASCENDS, JUST BY CONVECTION,
UNDERNEATH THE CATHEDRAL CEILING. AND THEN IT FINDS
ITS WAY THROUGH THE DUTCH DOORS ABOVE, AND THROUGH
THE GREENHOUSE, COMES DOWN THROUGH THE OPEN
DOORS IN THE HALLWAY, COMES DOWN THE STAIRS,
AND THEN COMES BACK INTO THIS AREA HERE, SO KEEPING
THIS AREA A LOT WARMER THAN THE CLIMATE OUTSIDE.
TARA: THE CHEMICAL POTENTIAL ENERGY IN A BURNING LOG
IS RELEASED AS THERMAL ENERGY IN THE FIRE.
FRED: THE THERMAL ENERGY IS TRANSFERRED TO THE
KETTLE, AND FROM THE KETTLE TO THE WATER.
TARA: BUT NOT ALL THE POTENTIAL ENERGY IN THE LOG IS
TRANSFERRED TO THE WATER.
FRED: SOME OF THAT THERMAL ENERGY HEATS THE AIR, SOME
HEATS THESE OTHER METAL OBJECTS.
TARA: AND SOME OF THE POTENTIAL ENERGY IS EVEN USED
UP AS SOUND.
NATHAN: DOES THIS SOLAR HOME CAPTURE ALL THE ENERGY
YOU NEED TO HEAT AND RUN THE HOME?
JORG OSTROWSKI: THE HOUSE LOSES HEAT THROUGH WIN-
DOWS, THE ROOF, AND THE FLOOR. AND IT HAS TO REPLACE
THAT HEAT FROM SOMEWHERE. THE SUN PROVIDES ALL THE
BACK-UP HEATING THAT THE HOUSE NEEDS. IT ALSO PRO-
VIDES ELECTRICITY THROUGH THE USE OF
PHOTOVOLTAICS, HOT WATER THROUGH THE SOLAR HOT
WATER COLLECTOR, AND WARM AIR THROUGH THE WINDOWS
AND THE WARM AIR SOLAR COLLECTOR. THE OTHER WAY OF
BACK-UP HEATING WHEN THERE’S NOT ENOUGH SUN IS
THROUGH THE USE OF THE MASONRY FIREPLACE.
FRED: SO THE THERMAL ENERGY OF A BURNING LOG IS TRANS-
FERRED TO THE KETTLE AND TO THE WATER.
TARA: THAT’S AN EXAMPLE OF THE “SECOND LAW OF THER-
MODYNAMICS”: HEAT ALWAYS FLOWS FROM A WARM OBJECT

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TO A COOLER ONE.
FRED: ALTHOUGH THE BURNING LOG BOILS THE WATER IN
THE KETTLE, IT ALSO HEATS THE AIR, THE FIREPLACE, AND THE
KETTLE.
TARA: THAT’S BECAUSE DURING ANY ENERGY CONVERSION,
USEFUL ENERGY IS LOST.
DANA: SO AS SCIENTISTS CONTINUE TO EXPERIMENT, THEY
DEVELOP THEORIES TO EXPLAIN HOW NATURE WORKS. THE
“LAW OF CONSERVATION OF MASS” STATES THAT MATTER
CANNOT BE CREATED OR DESTROYED. THE “FIRST LAW OF
THERMODYNAMICS” SAYS ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED OR
DESTROYED, ONLY CONVERTED FROM ONE FORM TO AN-
OTHER. THE “SECOND LAW OF THERMODYNAMICS” TELLS US
HEAT GOES FROM MATTER AT A HIGH TEMPERATURE TO MAT-
TER AT A LOWER TEMPERATURE. AND IN EVERY TYPE OF EN-
ERGY CONVERSION, SOME USEFUL ENERGY IS CONVERTED TO
THERMAL ENERGY, WHICH IS NO LONGER USEFUL. WE SAY
THE ENERGY IS LOST BECAUSE THE AMOUNT OF USEFUL EN-
ERGY HAS DECREASED. THE FACT THAT ENERGY IS LOST ON
EVERY ENERGY CONVERSION MEANS THAT POTENTIAL EN-
ERGY CAN NEVER BE COMPLETELY CONVERTED TO KINETIC
ENERGY. INSTEAD, SOME OF IT BECOMES THERMAL ENERGY
OR SOUND ENERGY. AND THAT’S WHY THE SEARCH FOR A PER-
PETUAL MOTION MACHINE HAS PROVED FUTILE.

23

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