Some Thoughts on Energy
Energy remains an important thing to understand. Here are some insights
that have been put forward over the years on this subject:
"The interpretation just given [of Poynting's theorem] suggests several
comments. In the first place, the present authors are not able to
ascribe any significance whatever to the phrase `localized energy.' They
do not believe that `Where?' is a fair or sensible question to ask
concerning energy. Energy is a function of configuration, just as the
beauty of a certain black-and-white design is a function of
configuration. The authors see no more reason or excuse for speaking of
a spatial energy density than they would for saying, in the case of a
design, that its beauty was distributed over it with a certain density.
Such a view would lead one to assign to a perfectly blank square inch in
one portion of the design a certain amount of beauty, and to an equally
blank square inch in another portion a certain different amount of
---Max Mason and Warren Weaver, The
. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1929, pp. 266-267.
"However mysterious energy (and its flux) may be in
some of its theoretical aspects, there must be something in it,
because it is convertible into dollars, the ultimate official
measure of value."
---Oliver Heaviside, "Electromagnetic theory -
L," The Electrician, vol. 31, p. 91 (1893).