Degradation of Energy

The reduction of energy to forms in which it cannot be utilized by man. It involves the reduction of potential energy to kinetic energy, and the reduction of kinetic energy of different degrees to energy of the same degree. Thus when the whole universe shall have attained the same temperature its energy will have become degraded or non-available. At present in the sun we have a source of kinetic energy of high degree, in coal a source of potential energy. The burning of all the coal will be an example of the reduction of potential to kinetic energy, and the cooling of the sun will illustrate the lowering in degree of kinetic energy. (See Conservation of Energy; Energy; Potential; Kinetic Energy)