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The 1st Law of Thermodynamics

Facts Concerning the 1st Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics is considered to be one of the foundational pillars of modern science. This law states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. This law also states however that energy can be changed from one form into another. What this law essentially says is that all of the energy that is present in the universe has always been here and always will be. This energy can be changed from one form to another but the total amount has never changed and it never will. Light can change into heat, heat can change into sound and so on but the sum total amount of energy in the universe never changes.

With the discovery of atomic energy in the 1930's it became apparent that energy could also be converted into matter and that matter could be converted into energy. This change happens in accordance with Albert Einsteins famous equation E=MC2 where E is energy, M is mass and C is the speed of light. Another law of physics known as "The Law of Mass Conservation" states that "matter cannot not be created or destroyed". The Law of Mass Conservation is now often included as part of the First Law of Thermodynamics. The First Law of Thermodynamics is now often stated in these terms: Energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed but can be changed from form to form.

Observation on the 1st Law of Thermodynamics

The first law of thermodynamics essentially states that what is here has always been here and always will be. Some people have a difficult time accepting the idea that God could always exist. A commonly asked question is "Who made God?" A tenant of Judeo-Christianity is that God has always existed. This seems contradictory to what the human mind is comfortable with. We humans think of things as having a beginning and an end. Living things are born and then they die. The very concept of eternity seems unnatural to most people. And yet science itself demands an eternal existence.

The 1st law is a universal statement and as such it cannot be proves. No one knows in fact whether energy can be created or destroyed. Might there be some process somewhere in the universe where energy is being created and we just do not know about it? Will we someday discover that energy can be destroyed after all? It is important to remember that the First Law of Thermodynamics was developed in the 1800's in an attempt to explain the workings of a steam engine. It is a long way from a steam engine to black holes, quasars, living cells and the like. This law may be universal in scope but then again it may not.

The Law of Conservation of Mass - also a universal statement- was being violated at the very same time that the law was being developed. People just did not realize it. When scientists wrote this law they had no idea that nuclear reactions occurred. When nuclear chemistry was discovered in the 1930's the original law was tossed aside and a new law took its place. This law is now often incorporated into the 1st Law of Thermodynamics.

The First Law of Thermodynamics actually has no bearing on how the universe was created. This fundamental law of science simply points out that eternity is real. Although it is difficult to comprehend, things do not need to have a beginning and they do not need to have an end. Not only is eternal existence possible it is actually a requirement of modern science. Whether it is God, matter, or energy - eternal existence is a fact as far as we know.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics


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