Is it energy that the body has simply taken for the energy that it needs? Or does he mean that energy which can be used to get rid of a burden? Or does Gibbs mean that the body will not, in fact, need to burn as the body produces energy?
I think he is talking about both. Let’s see what’s been written about Gibbs this year. Let’s start with an essay by David P. Schlosser, a senior lecturer in physics at Cambridge University, in a paper he recently edited. Here is the preface. Schlosser writes about “The Biggest Mystery of physics”.
“The biggest mystery of physics is why the universe looks the way it does (although it could be caused many different ways)”. For the uninitiated, it is an argument which starts with the question: If something exists and produces energy, why isn’t some way to get rid of the energy be found? So the hypothesis of eternal inflation is born: The theory goes that space-time was expanded so much that the density of matter was increased to infinity. At some point in time the universe became so big that we see all the matter and energy that existed just before the Big Bang. This, in effect, made the universe appear to come out of nothing; that there was nothing but nothing. In other words, when the space-time was expanded this was impossible to explain. However, we may take for granted that this was the case even if it were not the case; after all, it took millions of years for a molecule to take the first steps out of a bag, to walk upright and to walk across a rug.
Let’s hear from Schlosser about the first part of the argument. What he said might not be a surprise: what people really don’t want to know is why the universe looks the way it does. He was talking about the question of why the universe appears to have no entropy:
“The first logical implication…is that no such thing as entropy exists anywhere in the universe (not that it is impossible to see this)…It is a matter of considerable debate whether entropy was produced by any other process than evolution, such as an increase in the density of matter or an increase in the mass of the universe.” (David Schlosser, The Biggest Mystery of physics, 2009, page 17)
There’s nothing surprising. We would have expected that once the universe appears to have none of its properties at all a natural explanation is needed