General Energy Concepts
In the study of energy systems, there always appears three elementary concepts. These are potential energy, kinetic energy, and energy dissipation. And corresponding to these concepts, there are three idealized, essentially pure physical counterparts called passive components.
- In the science of physical mechanics, the phenomenon of potential energy is associated with a physical property called elasticity or stiffness, and can be represented by a stretched spring. In electronic science, potential energy is stored in a capacitor instead of a spring. This property is called capacitance instead of elasticity or stiffness.
- In the science of physical mechanics, the phenomenon of kinetic energy is associated with a physical property called inertia or mass, and can be represented by a mass or a flywheel in motion. In electronic science, kinetic energy is stored in an inductor (in a magnetic field) instead of a mass. This property is called inductance instead of inertia.
- In the science of physical mechanics, the phenomenon of energy dissipation is associated with a physical property called friction or resistance, and can be represented by a dashpot or other device which converts energy into heat. In electronic science, dissipation of energy is performed by an element called either a resistor or a conductor, the term "resistor" being the one generally used to describe a more ideal device (e.g., wire) employed to convey electronic energy efficiently from one location to another. The property of a resistance or conductor is measured as either resistance or conductance reciprocals.
In economics these three energy concepts are associated with:
- Economic Capacitance - Capital (money, stock/inventory, investments in buildings and durables, etc.)
- Economic Conductance - Goods (production flow coefficients)
- Economic Inductance - Services (the influence of the population of industry on output)
All of the mathematical theory developed in the study of one energy system (e.g., mechanics, electronics, etc.) can be immediately applied in the study of any other energy system (e.g., economics).