2 The Purpose of This Texbook

In order to understand why living requires work, and exactly how you get that work done, we need to understand the concepts of work, energy, and entropy. These happen to be some of the most fundamental concepts in all of physics. This textbook will introduce you to these fundamental concepts by analyzing the functioning of your own body.  Along the way we will also learn about other physics concepts that help us to understand how we move, respond to forces, sense changes to our environment, and manipulate objects.

A box labeled "the body does work" has an arrow labeled "input" pointing inward from the left. The arrow starts from a box labeled "Chemical Potential Energy." An arrow labeled "output" points outward from the body box to the right and toward a pair of boxes labeled "Potential Energy" and "Kinetic Energy." The potential energy box contains the terms "chemical, electrical, spring, gravitational." The terms chemical and electrical are connected to the terms "growth/repair, nerve function, cellular metabolism, storage." The terms spring, gravitational, and kinetic energy are connected to the the term "motion." An arrow labeled "heat" points outward and upward from the top of the central "work" box and toward a box labeled "thermal energy." Small, thin arrows connect the output and input arrows to the word "efficiency," and separately the input and heat arrows to the word "entropy."
The most basic functions of the human body mapped to the main concepts covered in this text. Many of these terms might be new to you, but don’t worry, this is just a preview. Later you will examine the similarities between this type of diagram for the human body and that of heat engines, such as the internal combustion engines, which power most vehicles.


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Body Physics: Motion to Metabolism Copyright © by Lawrence Davis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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