Provide a brief definition of the following terms to gain familiarity before watching the video.
First law of thermodynamics
Second law of thermodynamics
Please read the video summary below:
Think of your cell phone, your car, and your bicycle. What do they all have in common? Each of them requires an input of energy to work. It is no different for living organisms. Life would not work without a constant input of energy. Imagine a plant without light or a person without food. Eventually their energy runs out and they die because their cells cannot carry out reactions or maintain organization. Like your bedroom when no effort is spent cleaning, a living organism goes into disarray without constant energy.
It is a natural law that everything in the universe becomes less organized and loses usable energy. Stars burn out, cores of planets cool, and mountains erode. However, life has found a way to overcome this law (at least temporarily). Living organisms strive to maintain a constant input of energy instead of a loss like everything else. They do this through the energy transforming processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration. Without them, the flow of energy in living organisms like you would stop, and life would cease to exist.
Video Reflection: Please answer ANY 2 (ONLY answer 2, if you answer more or less, you will not receive credit for the assignment) of the questions below. You MUST type the question you are answering in your response.
What was the most interesting part of the video?
What was something new you learned?
What are you confused about from the video?
Do you see any relationships to your life? Why or why not?
Which part would you like to learn more about?
What follow-up experiment would you like to do and how would you relate it to your life?
Energy denotes the quantitative property that an object must receive in order to undertake or perform some kind of work or to heat, and is measured in terms of Joules (Bauer, 2019). Understandably, one can only conserve energy but can neither create nor destroy.
Mechanical energy is a kind of energy that an object possesses on account of its motion or position (Bauer, 2019). As such, mechanical energy exists in two different kinds-Kinetic energy which denotes energy in motion and potential energy which implies energy at rest or in position.
Chemical energy refers to energy in the bonds of chemical compounds such as molecules and atoms and usually release the said energy when they react. The effect of releasing chemical energy from a substance is that it alters the substance completely (Bauer, 2019). Coal is an example of chemical energy whose combustion converts the energy into heat and light.
The first law of thermodynamics speaks on conservation and states that it is not possible to either create or destroy energy. However, the law provides that one can only conserve energy. Essentially, it provides that it is possible to concert or change energy from one form into another (Bauer, 2019). An example of the first law of thermodynamics scenario is when turning on lights.
The second law of thermodynamics speaks on entropy. Accordingly, it states that in situations where no energy leaves or enters an object, then the initial energy of the object becomes greater than its potential energy under such state (Bauer, 2019). Essentially, total entropy only increases over time.
Entropy denotes the amount of energy which an object needs or requires to do work but which is lacking or unavailable. It denotes the measure of randomness or uncertainty (Bauer, 2019). It refers to physical quantity that is capable of measurement and is associated with disorder or randomness and uncertainty.
ATP is an abbreviation of Adenosine Triphosphate which is an organic compound that provides energy in living cells to enable them perform various processes (Gisriel et al., 2020). Some of the process include muscle contraction and chemical synthesis.
Enzymes are molecular proteins that exist in cells to speed up the process of metabolic reaction and other chemical reactions that take place in living organisms (Liu et al., 2018). Enzymes are very critical for the performance of biological process within all living things.
Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy. Plants use light to make sugar which they store in form of ATP after cellular respiration and use it as energy for various processes (Liu et al., 2018).
Part two: what was the most interesting part of the video?
The most interesting part of the video is how it simplifies the importance of energy in both plants and animals. According to the video, life would be impossible without energy because it performs various activities in living organisms. Without any source of energy, plants and animals run out of the same and then die naturally due to weakness. It was interesting to note that without energy, the cells cannot perform any reaction.
What part would you like to learn more about?
It would be of interest to learn more about energy transforming activities such as respiration and photosynthesis. It must be interesting to know how living organisms naturally create energy through the above processes. It is important to also learn the mechanisms with which living organism ensure they only receive more energy than the amount which they lose. Since energy is what sustains life, it would be important to learn more about the same and its relation to life, both in plants and animals.
Bauer, C. W., de Jong, W. A., Nachman, B., & Provasoli, D. (2019). A quantum algorithm for high energy physics simulations. arXiv preprint arXiv:1904.03196.
Gisriel, C., Shen, G., Kurashov, V., Ho, M. Y., Zhang, S., Williams, D., ... & Bryant, D. A. (2020). The structure of Photosystem I acclimated to far-red light illuminates an ecologically important acclimation process in photosynthesis. Science advances, 6(6), eaay6415.
Liu, D. M., Chen, J., & Shi, Y. P. (2018). Advances on methods and easy separated support materials for enzymes immobilization. TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 102, 332-342.