In science, energetics is the study of energy. Energetics, in its original sense, was a branch of mechanics or thermodynamics that dealt primarily with energy and its transformations. [1] In a modern terms, energetics is often, incorrectly, considered as the study of the total energy relations and transformations of a physical, chemical, or biological system as understood according to particularly the conservation of energy. [2] Correctly, energetics, as science, fell out of fashion, as incorrect, in the 1910s.

Energetics | Thermodynamics
There are some, in modern times, who assume that energetics is synonymous with thermodynamics. This, however, is not the case: energetics was invented as a proposed second law free and atomic theory free version of thermodynamics, that was found to be defunct into the 1910s. Planck summarized the distinction between the two as follows:

“Certain physicists actually regarded Clausius’ reasoning as unnecessarily complicated and even confused; and they refused, in particular, to admit the concept of irreversibility, and thereby to assign to heat a special position among the forms of energy. The created in opposition to Clausius’ theory of thermodynamics, the so-called science of ‘energetics’. The first fundamental proposition of energetics, exactly like that of Clausius’ theory, expresses the principle of the conservation of energy; but its second proposition, which is supposed to formulate the direction of all occurrences, postulates a perfect analogy between the passing of heat from a higher to a lower temperature and the sinking of a weight form a greater to a smaller height. A consequence of this point of view was that the assumption of irreversibility for proving the second law of thermodynamics was declared to be unessential; furthermore, the existence of an absolute zero of temperature was disputed, on the ground that for temperature, just as for height, only differences can be measured.”
Max Planck (1949), Scientific Autobiography (pgs. 29-30)


In 1728, the term energetic was in use. [3]

In 1855,
Scottish engineer-physicist William Rankine, in his “Outlines of the Science of Energetics”, defined energetics as a new branch of science, specifically “a science whose subjects are, material bodies and physical phenomena in general”, according to which energy is “every state of a substance which constitutes a capacity for performing work.”

The outline of the science of energetics, proposed by Rankine, is parallel in theme, but far less rigorous in its mathematical generality, to the science of thermodynamics or “mechanical theory of heat” developed by German physicist Rudolf Clausius between 1850-65. As such, the term “energetics” is often found as an older synonym for thermodynamics. In the 1890s, for instance, German physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald, after recently translating American mathematical physicist Willard Gibbs' On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances into French, styled Gibbs as the "founder of chemical energetics", whereas, in modern terms, Gibbs is known as the “founder of chemical thermodynamics”. [5]

In 1890 to 1908, the so-called school of energetics arose around the work of German chemist Wilhelm Ostwald (the founder) and Austrian physicist Ernst Mach, who both rejected the atomic hypothesis focusing instead on the law of conservation of energy and a belief that macroscopic energy levels were the only reality. [10] With the discovery of the atom, between 1897 and 1909, this school, however, soon became defunct. Ostwald eventually recanted; Mach did not.

In 1911, Jules Le Fevre published Animal Heat and Bioenergetics, a general treatise on animal physiology, calorimetry, heat balance, and thermoregulation. [11]

In 1941, German-born American biochemist Fritz Lipmann, in his
Metabolic Generation and Utilization of Phosphate Bond Energy, building on the chemical thermodynamics of Gilbert Lewis, established the model that that the chemical energy set free in the breakdown of foodstuff (unless it generates heat) is transformed into a special kind of bond energy, that is stored in the pyrophosphate bonds of ATP, before it is converted into other forms of energy, such as mechanical work in muscle or osmotic work in secreting glands. [8]

The name “bioenergetics, as compared to the circa 1970s term biothermodynamics, in their period, began to be associated with fundamental principles only sparsely using a language that often does not correspond to that used in standard thermodynamics textbooks. This has led to a difficulty in communications between biologists and the traditional thermodynamicists, physicists and engineers. [9]
In this sense, bioenergetics often refers to a simplified (first law or second law) version or synonym of biochemical thermodynamics or the thermodynamics of biochemistry. [6]

In 2009 to 2014, the prefix "bio-", Greek for "life", was shown to be a defunct, not recognizable by chemical thermodynamics, being that "life" is something non-existent, as Charles Sherrington (1938) discerned. Reform terminology upgrades include: chnops-ological thermodynamics (or powered chnopsological thermodynamics).

Other uses
In recent years, the term "energetics" has come to be associated with combinations of folk quantum mechanics, new age theories, energy medicines, acupuncture, and other well-being publications, having little relation to its original formulations. [7]

Energetics (article) - Encyclopedia Britannica, 1911 (Love-to-Know).
2. (a) Energetics (definition) - Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000, CD-ROM.
Energetics (definition) - 3. Chambers, Ephraim. (1728). Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences, (pg. 307). Vol. 1.
4. (a) Rankine, William. (1855). “
Outlines of the Science of Energetics”, Presented to the Glasgow Philosophical Society.
(b) Smith, Crosbie. (1998). The Science of Energy - a Cultural History of Energy Physics in Victorian Britain, (pg. 2). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
5. (a)
Willard Gibbs - Encyclopedia Britannica (1911).
(b) Boerio-Goates, Juliana, and Ott, J., Bevan. (2000). Chemical Thermodynamics - Principles and Applications, (pg. 1-2). New York: Elsevier Academic Press.
6. (a) Lehninger, Albert L. (1973). Bioenergetics - the Molecular Basis of Biological Energy Transformations (2nd ed.). London: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co.
(b) Caplan, Roy S. and Essig Alvin. (1983). Bioenergetics and Linear Nonequilibrium Thermodynamics. Cambridge: London: Harvard University Press.
(c) Nicholls, David G. and Ferguson, Stuart J. (2001). Bioenergetics3 (2nd ed, 4th printing). New York: Academic Press.
7. (a) Callaway, Marguerite M. (2006). The Energetics of Business. Chicago: Lincoln Park Publications.
(b) Barlett, Richard. (2007). Matrix Energetics - the Science and Art of Transformation. Atria Books.
(c) Seem, Mark D., and Kaplan, Joan. (1987). Bodymind Energetics: Towards a Dynamic Model of Health. Healing Arts Press.
8. (a) Lippmann, Fritz. (1941). “Metabolic Generation and Utilization of Phosphate Bond Energy.” Adv. Enzymol. 1, 99.
(b) Krebs, H.A. and Kornberg, H.L. (1957). Energy Transformations in Living Matter - a Survey (with Appendix by K. Burton). Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
9. Garby, Lars and Larsen, Poul S. (1995). Bioenegetics: Its Thermodynamic Foundations, (pg. xiii
). Cambridge University Press.
10. (a) Loeb, Leonard B. (2004). The Kinetic Theory of Gases, (pg. 6). Dover.
(b) Feuer, Lewis S. (1982). Einstein and the Generations of Science, (pg. 332). Transactions Publishers.
(c) Porter, Neil A. (1998). Physics in Conflict, (pg. 88). CRC Press.
11. Le Fevre, Jules. (1911). Animal Heat and Bioenergetics (Chaleur Animale et Bio-energetique) (abs). Paris.

Further reading
● Helm, Georg F. (2000). The Historical Development of Energetics. Kluwer Academic Press.

External links
Energetics – Wikipedia.

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