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Portal:Energy

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The Energy Portal
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Welcome to Wikipedia's Energy portal, your gateway to energy. This portal is aimed at giving you access to all energy related topics in all of its forms.

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Introduction

The Sun is the source of energy for most of life on Earth. As a star, the Sun is heated to high temperatures by the conversion of nuclear binding energy due to the fusion of hydrogen in its core. This energy is ultimately transferred (released) into space mainly in the form of radiant (light) energy.

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The SI unit of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of 1 metre against a force of 1 newton.

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.


Selected article

High-level radioactive waste management concerns management and disposal of highly radioactive materials created during production of nuclear power and nuclear warheads. The technical issues in accomplishing this are daunting, due to the extremely long periods radioactive wastes remain deadly to living organisms. Of particular concern are two long-lived fission products, Technetium-99 (half-life 220,000 years) and Iodine-129 (half-life 15.7 million years), which dominate spent nuclear fuel radioactivity after a few thousand years. The most troublesome transuranic elements in spent fuel are Neptunium-237 (half-life two million years) and Plutonium-239 (half-life 24,000 years). Consequently, high-level radioactive waste requires sophisticated treatment and management to successfully isolate it from the biosphere. This usually necessitates treatment, followed by a long-term management strategy involving permanent storage, disposal or transformation of the waste into a non-toxic form.

Governments around the world are considering a range of waste management and disposal options, usually involving deep-geologic placement, although there has been limited progress toward implementing long-term waste management solutions. This is partly because the timeframes in question when dealing with radioactive waste range from 10,000 to millions of years, according to studies based on the effect of estimated radiation doses. Read more...


Selected image

Strokkur geyser eruption, close-up view.jpg

Photo credit: Andreas Tille
Geysers erupt periodically due to surface water being heated by geothermal heat.


Did you know?

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  • Positive lightning bolts are typically six to ten times more powerful than normal lightning — and aircraft are not designed to withstand them?
  • Dark energy is a hypothetical form of energy which permeates all of space?

Selected biography

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Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. (born 31 March 1948) is an American politician, teacher, businessman, and environmentalist. From 1993 to 2001, he was the 45th Vice President of the United States, serving while Bill Clinton was President. In the 2000 election Gore won the popular vote but not the electoral college victory.

Gore lectures widely on the topic of global warming and has given his keynote presentation at least 1,000 times across the world. In 2006 he starred in the Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, discussing global warming and the environment, based on his presentation.

Gore was one of the first politicians to grasp the seriousness of climate change and to call for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. He held the first congressional hearings on the subject in the late 1970s. Gore pushed strongly for the passage of the Kyoto Treaty in the United States during the late 1990s.

In 2007 Al Gore and Richard Branson announced the Virgin Earth Challenge, offering a $25 million prize for the first viable design which results in the removal of atmospheric greenhouse gases. He is also one of the backers of the Live Earth concerts to promote action on climate change. Read more...


In the news

6 November 2019 – Nuclear program of Iran
French media reports that Iranian nuclear scientists began injecting uranium into centrifuges in the presence of International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors at the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant. Effectively it turns the plant from a research site into an active nuclear site, in further violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. (Al Jazeera)
4 November 2019 – Iran–United States relations
On the 40th anniversary of the Iran hostage crisis, Atomic Energy Organization of Iran chairman Ali Akbar Salehi announces his government has doubled the amount of advanced centrifuges limited by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and are working on a prototype that is fifty times faster than those allowed. He blames the United States's withdrawal from the agreement last year for these actions. (Al Jazeera)
17 October 2019 – List of Trump administration dismissals and resignations
U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announces he will resign by the end of the year. (NPR)

Quotations

  • "My administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change. We recognize our responsibility and will meet it - at home, in our hemisphere, and in the world." – George W. Bush, 2001
  • "While the Kyoto Protocol is a crucial step forward, that step is far too small. And as we consider how to go further still, there remains a frightening lack of leadership." – Kofi Annan, 2006
  • "It is going to be very difficult to keep temperature increases down to between 2 and 3 degrees centigrade [3.6 - 5.4°F]. We should work very hard to do that." – Nicholas Stern, 2006
  • "Halting global warming requires urgent, unprecedented international cooperation, but the needed actions are feasible and have additional benefits for human health, agriculture and the environment." – James E. Hansen, 2004

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