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In earlier chapters, we developed the link between the historical development of energy sources and the development of human society. More energy has allowed humans to do more work, including that of producing more wealth and more humans. We use the joule, for those not steeped in physical science, as the standard measure of energy. One joule is the amount of energy needed to lift a mass of 1 kg a distance of 1 m on the surface of the earth. A joule is equal to about one-quarter of a calorie. Our more familiar unit is the kilocalorie (often written as calorie) and is found, for example, on the back of food packages. One kilocalorie is 1000 calories, equal to about 4 kJ. Thus, if you consume a drink that says it has 100 cal, you will have consumed 418 kJ. Later, in ► Chap. 8, we explore the relation between energy and power from a scientific perspective. Power is the rate of doing work and is commonly measured in watts. From the standpoint of physics, power is energy used or expended per unit of time or the work that power causes or allows to be done. The most common unit of power is the watt, where 1 W = 1 J/s.
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- The Petroleum Revolution II: Concentrated Power and Concentrated Industries
Charles A. S. Hall
Systemische Notwendigkeit zur Weiterentwicklung von Hybridnetzen