As some of you know, I am a big lover of mathematical symbols or equations and physics in general. When I come across universal constants and equations which change the entire way humans think of nature, it amazes me. One of the most famous equations of our time is certainly E=mc^2, which explains the mass-energy relationship. Though I have always wondered about it, only this time, I thought I will sit down and crunch some numbers.
If we assume a mass of say 1kg, the energy equivalence is approximately 90000000000000000 joules or 25000000000 kilowatt-hours or 21 megatons of TNT. Imagine how much energy we potentially have. The word potential is important, since the above energy assumes that mass is at rest…:).. This got me thinking, how much energy do we really consume per day in order to sustain. One way to calculate that would be to find the calorific value of the food intake. Assuming our mass doesnt change upon the food intake and we survive, one could say that the energy expended is just equal to energy consumed.
Being a conservative person, I assigned 3000 calories of food intake to show a good number for the amount of energy we make use of. 1 calorie is around 4.184 joules, which would mean 3000 calories is roughly 12000 joules. Comparing that with the energy equivalent (still assuming 1 kg mass since multiplying it by 50 or 100 is not going to significantly affect the equations…again being on the conservative end of the spectrum), the fraction of energy consumed to keep our body in tact is around .000000000013333333 %. This is quite amazing from 2 aspects. One can look at it and say that our entire system works with such a low energy battery or that we probably are expending only a very small proportion of our energy equivalence.
Switching gears a little, I have heard from people who meditate and who are spiritually oriented that nature has a lot of energy. I often hear people saying that, when they go to a park or beach, they could see a lot of energy. Now, thinking back, based on the energy equivalence, one could say that, wherever there is a lot of mass, there is a lot of potential energy stored in that place. Obviously, forests, mountains, rivers and oceans have a lot of energy associated with it and thus the entire universe. Also, when there is a place, like a social gathering with a lot of people involved, you will still see that there is a lot of energy in that place.
The only place where I couldnt find this correspondence to work is with obese people. We dont call all fat people as being energetic, do we? When someone oozes with confidence and optimism, we call them energetic. How is that energy defined? So, can one say that energy is not just a “mass” concept but rather a “mind” concept when it comes to people? I dont know…