Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Silver dollars golden with potential energy

All money is energy so it makes sense that these Silver Dollars 
(Lunaria annua) came from a plant that is often
referred to as the "Money Plant":

Energy flows from the sun to the plants, then to the plant eaters,
and on again to the meat eaters. This nifty diagram explains it:

Green plants and certain types of bacteria and algae are the
primary producers because they are the ones that produce
usable energy for the rest of the living organisms on earth.
They use energy from the sun to make sucrose, glucose, and other
compounds that other life forms can eat and "burn" for energy.

In each one of those sugar molecules a little bit of the sun's energy
is stored in a form that we can call chemical energy.
But it might better be called "potential energy" since it is a
sort of "doing-nothing-for-now-waiting-to-happen" kind of energy.

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