What is the origin of energy, how do we harness it for the benefit of all, and to what extent is civilization doomed without it? These are the essential questions that are addressed in the informative documentary The Story of Energy.
Energy touches every part of our lives and the world around us. It powers our machines, helps to nourish and energize our bodies, and is a critical component in the make-up of our entire universe. With concise but far-reaching insight, the film explores the steps that have altered our perception of energy over the past 4,000 years. It’s a journey that provides great clarity on a fundamental life source.
The audience's guide through this study is acclaimed theoretical physicist Dr. Jim Al-Khalili. His lessons are delivered with admirable expertise and enthusiasm.
The narrative harkens back to the works of Gottfried Leibniz, a renowned scientist and philosopher who began researching the transfer of energy in 1676. What could explain the process by which one object passes on its momentum to another object upon contact?
In the century that followed, Leibniz's findings behind this "living force" had been harnessed into the powering of steam engines. This dovetailed into the works of Nicolas Leonard Sadi Carnot, a French engineer who discovered thermodynamics, a field of study that unifies the relationships between all forms of energy.
The film recounts the building blocks that have further the defined the nature of energy over the years, including the role that heat plays in the process, and the discovery that the universe as a whole is made up of a set amount of energy that merely changes form.
The filmmakers and host aren't afraid to dig deep into the weeds on the science behind these findings, yet their presentation is never less than fully digestible for those who might not gravitate toward this kind of dense content. In addition to the science itself, we're also given a glimpse into the figures throughout history who have worked tirelessly to refine their understanding of this mysterious element and formulated theories that have continued to shape the way we function in the universe.
Directed by: Nic Stacey