Category Archives: Science

A human is a bundle of energy gathering protons, neutrons and electrons

Humans are Energy Gatherers

78-year-old Durham-based science writer ALBERT SIMPSON is the author of a new science book ‘Energy is Everything’ Albert argues that humans just like the protons, neurons and electrons of which they are made, are designed to gather energy and that is why we have evolved.

Everything is Energy
Everything is Energy

OUR universe is one of energy that never dies. That is the first law of energy. The second law is that energy spreads itself ever more thinly. However, to spread something more thinly you have to first collect it.

Earth’s humans and all other animal life forms; all plants and fungi; all bacteria and all non living structures,  indeed everything on earth is composed of proton, neutron and electron particles. Think of those particles as energy machines that process energy. They seek out, collect and process suitable energy packets dispatched by other particle energy machines. Those dispatches are near same energy totals but of changed energy packets.

Particle energy machine

On earth such particles occupy less than 0.00001% of space which is why in outer space the densities of neutron stars and black hole cores can be millions of tons per cubic centimetre. All particles constantly vibrate in response to their energy collections and releases.  Energy exchanges between particles in structures determine where the particles are located in those structures and how strongly they are linked to one another across the considerable spaces between them. Atoms, molecules and compounds are all just energy efficient particle arrangements in space. They  are the building blocks that link to one another in earth’s solid, liquid and gas structures.

Why is the above of human interest?  Because the desire of particles for energy is the reason we evolved.

We evolved senses to see, feel, hear, smell and taste; the means to move about the earth; brains able to store and process the information received by our senses and the means to repair and reproduce ourselves. It was all done so our particles could better collect energies. We are fundamentally highly sophisticated mobile energy gatherers.

Think about the level of cooperation there must be between the particles in your body cells and how such cells then cooperate in your brain, nervous system, circulatory system, digestive system, muscular system, reproductive systems and endocrine system, etc. The estimated 3,700 trillion, trillion particles of our bodies cooperate as they do because they all benefit from our energy collecting. Such phenomenal levels of particle cooperation must surely mean that the energy packet transfers between particles are a means of communicating.

Observe how plants grow. Seeds collect energy from the soil and build energy structures that reach up seeking best positions from which they can more efficiently collect the energy of the sun. They process that energy and store it in their growing structures. Plants are all about satisfying their particle energy needs. Without their evolution the evolution of animal life forms, that rely heavily on plant energies, would not have happened.

Each human is the host to parasitic bacteria cells that outnumber body cells. They are each a smaller, simpler energy gathering cell structure evolved from cells that first existed, on the now 4.5 billion year old earth, about 4 billion years ago and in an atmosphere rare in oxygen.  They are thought to have consumed amino acids and sugars dissolved in water so as to get their energy needs and to have created nucleic acids capable of replication. Were these early forms of bacteria the first to gain an energy gathering advantage over inanimate particle structures which rely entirely on their vibrating particle motions to seek out and gather in surround energies?

Earth’s orbital motion toward the sun, regarded as a gravity pull, is simply the net vibratory motion of its mass of particles to collect the energies coming to earth.  You may not expect it but the sun’s particles similarly collect energy from space.  Such gravity collections are essential to and control the scattered fusion processes in its core. They convert hydrogen structures into more energy efficient helium particle structures, releasing much energy.

A square centimetre of earth particles in full sun are estimated to collect one million trillion energy packets called photons every second. Those higher energy packets are spread by particle energy exchanges in all directions throughout the earth and, between its surface structures. They become lower energy packets in the process and more likely to curve to attracting particles. The low energy exchanges that sustain structures are often referred to as virtual photons.  Nearly all earth received energy goes back into space as more numerous lower energy packages.

Einstein saw no gravity force. His general theory of relativity described what we perceive as gravity as due to the curvature of space and time. Massive particle structures influence spacetime whilst spacetime delivers motion to massive particle structures. Think of spacetime as all those photon energies travelling at light speed through space intent on reaching some distant particle. They are influenced by the energy desires of massive particle structures that move to collect energies.  The desires of particles for energy are why starlight bends around our sun and why visible light energy photons are unable to leave black holes. Gravity is about particle desires for energy.

Fractions of a second after the big bang that sent energy out into the universe neutron particle energies started becoming proton and electron energies. In atoms we find protons and neutrons in its nuclear centre and the more mobile electrons considerable distances away. We might wonder if that was a deliberate intent on the part of neutrons to evolve as improved collectors and communicators of energy.


You have to wonder if the limited range strong nuclear forces said to hold neutrons and protons in nuclei are just vast numbers of low energy photon exchanges that seriously curve between proton and neutron particles. We might also wonder if protons process the energies received from the highly mobile, space dominating electron energy gatherers so as to make them more suited to neutron needs.

Humans are undoubtedly superior energy gatherers and could now easily produce food energies to meet the world needs. You might think that we would be more relaxed like our pets. Instead we seem the most stressed of life forms.  Those with most want more, whilst those with least get less. We seem unable to shake off the aggressive and competitive behaviours needed in the past when control of energy sources meant life or death.  What a shame we humans cannot cooperate with other humans in the way that our body particles cooperate within us. What a more relaxed and better world it would be.

In life we can make a point of better understanding and supporting the energy needs of our body particles so that they better contribute to our well being. We can seek to be more in tune with the energies of the world around us and thereby lead a more fulfilled life. In death our particle energies do not die. Often their structures immediately appear more relaxed than they did in life. Particles simply start to rearrange themselves in new structures. Our energies living forever must surely be a far better thought than the biblical “dust to dust” end.

Albert’s book ‘Everything is Energy’ is priced £7.95 and published by Cosphi Publications. It is available online from The book is one of words and diagrams  and is designed to make you think.   

Everything is Energy by Albert Simpson (book)


A Festival of Innovation

The NWG Innovation Festival comes to the region in July. Guest blogger NIGEL WATSON, Director of Information Services, at Northumbrian Water Group looks ahead to the exciting  problem-solving tasks set to challenge some of the most talented innovators in business.

Nigel Watson, Director of Information Services, Northumbrian Water Group
Nigel Watson, Director of Information Services, Northumbrian Water Group

The North East has a proud history of innovation, from being the birthplace of the railways to the region that sparked such inventions as the friction match.

Now, some of the best-known names in business are descending upon the North East to explore how innovative thinking can be applied to environmental and social problems, with the aim of benefiting customers and communities.

Flooding, water leakage, infrastructure and even the teenager’s bedroom of the future will all come under the microscope during week-long “sprints”, with a range of industry and academic experts, and members of the public all dedicating their brain power and experience to the task at hand.

These “sprints”, which take design thinking developed by the likes of Google and apply them to a particular subject for a dedicated amount of time, will take place in Newcastle Racecourse’s marquee village as part of Northumbrian Water’s first ever Innovation Festival.


We’re very aware that such problems aren’t surmountable by one company alone, so we are collaborating with some important partners. The festival is supported by IBM, BT, Microsoft, Reece Innovation, Ordnance Survey and CGI, with each of these companies leading a sprint throughout the week, from July 10 to 14.

Set in a festival environment designed to bring people together and be creative, we want to come up with, and develop the best new ideas. By getting our customers involved, we want them to be at the heart of this innovation – and to ultimately benefit from it.

We’re expecting 400 people each day, with around 300 of those actually getting involved in the sprints and a hackathon – where analytical experts led by Microsoft will delve into large volumes of data on leakage to see what lessons can be learned.

The sprint sessions will be sandwiched between yoga and mindfulness on the mornings and a range of entertainment on the evenings, including live comedy, music, inspirational talks, and even a pub quiz. At the end of it all, we will be converting one of the main tents into comic book heaven and hosting a special ball in support of the global charity, WaterAid.

The big questions under consideration during the week are:

 ‘Rain, Hail or Shine’: How can we reduce flooding? Led by headline sponsor IBM

  • ‘Keep It Flowing’: What do we know about leakage from water pipes and how can we fix it? Led by NWG and headline sponsor Microsoft, alongside a Microsoft-led Hackathon of data relating to leakage.
  • ‘Preparing for the Future’: How do we upgrade our infrastructure for the 21st Century effectively and affordably? Led by headline sponsor Reece Innovation
  • ‘Tomorrow’s World’: What will living and working look like in 2030? Led by headline sponsor CGI
  • ‘How Green is Your City?’: What can businesses do to improve the environment in the North East? Led by headline sponsor Ordnance Survey
  • ‘21st Century Reach’: How can we optimise a mobile workforce for a complex network business? Led by headline sponsor BT

The NWG Innovation Festival is  delivered in association with Newcastle University, Genesys, Interserve, Costain Resources, PC1, Tech Mahindra, Mott MacDonald Bentley (MMB), Wipro, Virgin Media Business, Schneider, Wheatley Solutions, Sopra Steria, Accenture, 1Spatial, Infosys and Unify.

People can find out more about what’s taking place at the NWG Innovation Festival, and how they can get involved at

For further media information, call 0191 3015678.

How Electricity Works


In the latest science blog for England’s North East ALBERT SIMPSON explains how electricity works.

Man’s discovery and ability to utilise the natural phenomena of electricity has perhaps changed the world like no other. From its beginnings, bringing daylight to the darkness of night, right through to its facilitation of the modern digital age, there is certainly no denying electricity’s importance.

As far as North East England is concerned few regions have played such an important part in the development of electricity as a resource to serve man and this was particularly the case in the pioneering developments of electric light during the nineteenth century.

Joseph Swan (left) Charles Algernon Parsons (right)
Joseph Swan (left) Charles Algernon Parsons (right)

The region saw the invention of the world’s first electric light bulb by Sunderland’s Joseph Swan (1828-1914), whose later Gateshead home was the first to be wired for electric light. Further north Cragside in Northumberland was the first house in the world to be lit by electricity generated from water power.

In Newcastle, Moseley Street was the first street lit by electricity and the city’s Portland Road saw engineer J.H. Holmes manufacture the first quick break electrical switch.

The Tyneside-based engineer Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931) can perhaps make an even greater claim, being occasionally referred to as ‘the man who invented the twentieth century’ from his development of turbines that enabled wide-scale generation of electricity. However we will leave the industrial pioneers for another day and ask a question:

What exactly is electricity?

Despite the huge role electricity plays in our lives few understand it and it is a wide ranging subject. Usually if you open any electrical text books you are quickly thrown into an array of complex laws and mathematics.

I will avoid the text book stuff and explain electricity as we most encounter it, as an energy supply channelled via wires.

My previous blog  something about nothing  explained how over ninety nine percent of each and every atom is in fact empty space and that less than one percent is mobile particle matter: namely protons, neutrons and the much tinier electrons. It also explained how interactive push and pull forces between those highly mobile atomic particles give an atom its space, volume size and shape, and how atoms are then joined to make the solids, liquids and gases of our world.

The Electricity of Wired Circuits

Electron particles do not like one another. Any electron moving the most miniscule of distance towards another electron will transfer energy in the form of a ‘push away’ to that electron and cause it to move. Any electron moving away from another electron will reduce the ‘push away’ on that electron encouraging the first electron to follow.


A battery (above) produces extra electrons at its negative terminal and removes electrons from the positive terminal. Consequently, electrons in a wire attached to the negative terminal are pushed away from that terminal and electrons in the positive wire are pulled toward that terminal.

Push and pull forces between electrons act at the speed of light (300,000 metres a second) and electrons, being light in weight and not held too tightly by their parent atoms, respond quite quickly to those transmitted forces and move.

Electrons on the move transmit changed forces to other electrons so that they in turn move and cause other electrons to move and so on. That is how energy is transmitted along wires.

Some people may term the electron movements in a wire as a flow.

However electron movements along wired circuits are slower than tortoise pace. That is so because although electrons move quite quickly between atoms they spend relatively lengthy times in their atom home

I prefer the term electron drift to electron flow.

Let’s be clear, it is not electrons whizzing around circuits that put our lights on almost instantly. It is the light speed transfer of energy via electrons to the electrons in our light bulb that does that.

Amperage is just a measure of the number of electrons involved in a drift. One amp equates to 6.25 billion, billion electrons drifting across a wire cross section every single second. That is a very big number but it is only equal to the number of electrons in about one tenth of a millimetre of wire length.

That is just one half of a metre every hour. Tortoises can certainly travel much, much faster than that.


Why we use copper in circuit wiring.

Electrons are active in the space volumes around an atom’s nucleic centre.  Scientists call such space volumes electron clouds. Each cloud can have a maximum of two electrons.

Copper atoms have 29 protons, 29 electrons and 35 neutrons. The protons have little hold on outer cloud electrons so much so that some outer cloud electrons wander from atom to atom. This electron wander phenomenon is called an electron gas. Clearly the outer electrons of copper need almost no energy to move them along a circuit from atom to atom.

Copper is a good conductor because there is little energy wasted in moving its electrons along a wire.

Air is not a good conductor. Its atoms will in normal circumstances not release electrons in battery and mains circuits, so a switch that breaks a circuit makes for an easy way of stopping electron drift in a circuit.

Tungsten was until recently much used as the element in light bulbs. Tungsten does not give up its electrons like copper does. Tungsten has higher resistance. Many copper electrons have to move and thereby push or pull to make a single tungsten electron move. When the tungsten electron moves it has much energy and when it re-engages with a new ‘atom home’ it gives up that acquired energy as radiated light and heat.


Our UK mains supply

When a north magnet pole moves across a wire, electrons in that wire are encouraged to move in a specific direction. When a south magnet pole moves over the same wire, electrons are encouraged to move in the opposite direction.

This link between magnetism and electricity is extensively used by the rotating machines in generating stations and in wind turbines to produce our UK alternating supply or AC alternating current.

In the UK supply system, an electron push followed by an electron pull repeats itself 50 times every second.

Generated supply is three phase and at very high voltage. The high voltage is in fact a high electron push and allows the transmission of high energies at low amperages. This enables the use of light-weight overhead distribution cables. The three phases are actually three lots of similar push-pulls but they are out of sync with each other.


Our homes are generally supplied with just one of these three phases and at a transformed, lower and safer 250 volts. The electron to and fro movements in the two wire (plus earth) pin plug supply of our homes is happening as a result of energy transfers between electrons (as previously described) but now over hundreds of miles and probably via several transformers.

The live brown wire electrons are being pulled and pushed whilst the neutral blue wire electrons are being pushed and pulled.  This is happening even when our domestic switches are turned off though the electron moves in such circumstances are so small as to not register on our energy meters.

When we close a switch, in a typical home circuit, electrons move back and forth in our wiring about one thousandth of a millimetre, albeit thousands of atom distances.  This shifting of electrons back and forth in a load delivers energy to that load, say an appliance, just as it did in the direct current battery circuit.

The electrical load is the major energy consumer. It always resists electron movement but not always in the way the tungsten bulb did. For instance, the electrical machines in our homes that rotate all resist electron movement magnetically in a sort of reverse of the generating station action.