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									Terminal Performance                                                              Chapter 1

                A History of Transitional Kinetic Energy
         Here is a mathematical ratio for the time of fall time for a 1oz. lead punk ball and
the corresponding momentum and transitional kinetic energy values. Again I used time of
fall rather than velocity because it is easier to visualize.
       Time of fall (sec.)    Momentum (ft-lbf/sec.)   Tke (ft-lbf)
       1                      2                                 1
       2                      4                                 4
       3                      6                                 9
       4                      8                                 16
       5                      10                                25
       6                      12                                36

        The pattern that emerges with the time of fall and the values for momentum and
transitional kinetic energy are proportional and exponential respectively. To get
momentum all you need to do is multiply the time of fall by a factor of 2. The result is
proportionate or equal to velocity (v). Therefore momentum is a value of velocity. To get
transitional kinetic energy all you need to do is square the time of fall. The result is
exponential or equal to square velocity (v2). Therefore transitional kinetic energy is a value
of the square of velocity.
        Now we have a history of kinetic energy that states a force can create motion in a
mass or object and because of that motion we can say that a mass or object possesses
        So when was there a diversion in terminology from force to energy and the addition
of the word “kinetic” to energy?
        This happened ca.1849 when Lord William Thomas Kelvin (1824-1907), an
English mathematician and physicist coined the term “kinetic energy”. Lord Kelvin along
with his research partner William Rankine (1820-1872) a Scottish engineer, are considered
the fathers of modern thermodynamics. It is through their work that the kinetic energy
equation and its family of equations got put to practical use.
        The idea of kinetic energy is this. A force is some that may cause a mass or object
to move. Again stated as;
                F = ma

        Therefore a force (F) is considered unseen or a non-physical entity and the mass or
object (m) is considered physical and then there is the effect of movement or motion (a) of
that physical object or mass to move. However by Lord Kelvin and Rankine’s time, the
forces that were considered unseen and not so physical had become noticeable and
tangible. These forces were heat, chemical reactions, pressure and impact also the change
in there physical state. A changing state would be when water changes from a liquid to a
gas, like steam or when water changes from a liquid to a solid, like ice. Lord Kelvin and
Rankin’s experimentations and theorem showed that both steam and ice can and dose
create a force.
        So Lord Kelvin and probably Rankin named any of the now “seen” and “physical
force” that caused or had the capacity to cause an object to move, “kinetic energy”. The
Greek word for motion is “kinetic” and the Greek word for active work is “energy”.
Therefore the term “kinetic energy” means through motion do active work.

Terminal Performance                                                             Chapter 1

        As you may have noticed many times in the last few pages I’ve used the term
“kinetic energy” which you are probable very familiar with and the term “transitional
kinetic energy” which you may have never seen before. Both these terms have been around
since Lord Kelvin time. And no, I did not interchange the two terms as part of my
“brilliant” literary prose.
        The term “kinetic energy” is the general term and the equation is expressed as:
                 KE = mv2

        This equation for kinetic energy is known as the “classic statement” and is stated
as; “kinetic energy is equal to half the mass of an object times its velocity squared.” This
is a true and correct statement that works mathematical for all masses in motion within the
universe. However one must understand that the classic statement dose not relate to
differing masses in differing states in differing gravitational forces; such as a bullet in
flight here on earth that will impact a target.
        The specific term and expression that pertains to the kinetic energy here on earth or
any where within any other closed system is specific term “transitional kinetic energy” and
the equation is expressed as:
                Tke = mv2

        This equation for transitional kinetic energy is known as the “specific statement”
and is stated as: “Transitional kinetic energy is equal the quotient of the mass of an
object times its velocity squared divided by the two times dimensional constant.”
        So why is it important to have a specific statement? William Rankine stated the
Law of Conservation of Energy in 1853 as: “All different kinds of physical energy in the
universe are mutually convertible.” Well if physical energy is mutually convertible it is
mutually calculable? The way we calculate physical energy is by using the transitional
kinetic energy equation. The convertibility of a mass is represented as the word
transitional. A transitioning event is when smokeless powder turns form a solid into a gas
and releases its energy to the bullet or when that bullet then flights down range and
releases energy to the target and when target then absorbs all the remaining energy.
        As a side note to this history of kinetic energy, the “transitional kinetic energy
equation” is not dated. It is my opinion that the “transitional kinetic energy equation” was
known to Newton, Leibniz and most certainly Huygens because of the original equation
derived out of the experiment done by dropping the feather and the pebble in a vacuum.
        So where dose the history of kinetic energy go from here?
        Well as far as we hunters and shooter a concerned, that’s it. However the history
goes on.
        The need to understand the energy of the smallest particles of our universe was still
to be found. It turns out the greatest of all the kinetic energy equations is E = mc2.
        That’s right Albert Einstein’s (1879-1955) original equation of:
               c =         mx          dc
                         √ 1-v2/c2
is a kinetic energy equation that reduces to E = mc2.

Terminal Performance                                                             Chapter 1

        Do you remember a few pages back when I wrote “if Newton had pursued the
kinetic energy equation that he may have changed the course of all humanity?” Well that
conjecture is based on his genius as well as his studies of light and how Einstein thought of
his equation. Now I’m not saying that Newton would have started the atomic age. But the
atomic age could have started decades earlier if not a century earlier. That being if Newton
had seen a connection between his studies of light and the second Law, just as Einstein
        It turns out that this kinetic energy equation E = mc2 was key to unlocking the
potential energy held within the smallest particles of our universe; the atom. Here is what
Einstein envisioned. Theoretically the atom had a mass. Therefore the kinetic energy
equation applied to atoms. However the question was, “what would the velocity of the
atom be?” Well theoretically atoms were made of charged particles. Charged particles are a
form of energy. Theoretically (during Einstein’s time) electromagnetism, radio, visible
light and x-ray are all forms of the same energy. The difference is that all these forms of
energy are moving at differing wave lengths. The similarity is that all forms of energy
move at or just below the speed of light. Einstein theorized that if the charged particles of
an atom were released, the energy would move at about the speed of light.
        Again Einstein’s equation is:
                E = mc2

        Where as E being equal to KE as energy, m being equal to m as mass and c2 being
equal to v2 as “celeritas” the constant speed of light.

        Now Einstein only envisioned this theoretically. You see: while Einstein continued
to work on theoretical equations of the Grand Unified Theory, other scientists moved
forward with his work in a new field of physics to be known as nuclear physics. The first
break through came when Enrico Fermi (1901-1954), in 1934 demonstrated that neutrons
can be slowed down during nuclear bombardment. Using a slower neutron allows the
neutron to penetrate an atom and hit the nucleus and stick without passing though the
atom. Then in 1936 two physicist, Lise Meitner (1878-1968) and Otto Robert Frisch
(1904-1979) showed mathematically that if one of Fermi’s slow neutrons were introduced
into an atom so heavy under its own weight, that that atom would indeed explode
spontaneously due to the extra mass. In 1937 Lise Meitner, Fritz Strassman (1902-1980)
and Otto Hahn (1879-1968) with that data and other mathematical principles discovered
the process for nuclear fission of uranium 238. After the publishing of the 1937 discovery
it was Enrico Fermi who actually saw what E = mc2 could do.
        Enrico Fermi understood instinctively what uranium 238 was. Just think of how
many atoms there must be in a pound of U238? I figure maybe
1,147,590,000,000,000,000,000,000 of them (It’s just an educated calculation because my
chemistry sucks). In a chain reaction each of these atoms would be breaking a part during
nuclear fission at the speed of light. Now the cool thing is how the chain reaction happens.
Once the first neutron penetrates the uranium atom and comes to rest inside the nucleus
that atom blows apart because it’s now too heavy and giving off 2 free neutrons to the rest
of the mass. Those 2 free neutrons penetrate two more uranium atoms and than they
explode giving off 4 more free neutron; and than 8 more free neutron and 16, 32, 64, 128

Terminal Performance                                                               Chapter 1

and so on and so on… all at the speed of light. It turns out that nuclear fission is a function
of the square.
        To see what Fermi saw, check these numbers out. If you square the speed of light
186,281mps you will get 34,700,610,961mps2. If you convert (first convert mps to fps,
then square) this value from miles per second to feet per second which is a standard unit of
measure used in the transitional kinetic energy equation, you get
967,397,512,615,142,400fps2. This mammoth number is secret as to why a tiny particle
such as the atom can possess such huge amounts of energy.
        So if we multiply that whole pound (not the number of atoms) of uranium 238; 1
times that square of its velocity; 967,397,512,615,142,400fps2 and divide it by 2 times the
dimensional constant; 32.163 and this is what you get… 15,028,810,714,477,530 foot-
pounds force. That is 15 quadrillion foot-pounds force from one pound of uranium.
        As a sporting arms writer might say, “A pound of uranium yields trillions of tons of
        Are you getting the picture?
        This is why we can convert uranium and plutonium into the tremendous energy
sources that they are.
        So it appears that Newton-and-the-gang’s ignored concepts of kinetic energy and
mv2 heralded in the atomic age. It kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Is there another
kinetic energy equation that can be found to unlock the enormous energy, held silently
within the universe?
        I wonder too.
        I think as long as there is some great men or women looking to the Heavens, asking
themselves; “how dose it all work and where do we stand within it?” there will always be
another kinetic energy equation to discover.


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