What exactly is energy (in terms a non-physicist/non-mathematician can understand)? I've been researching this topic, and it seems that energy is not a real physical state, i.e. it is only a scalar that is assigned to the state of physical systems for mathematical abstraction. In other words, energy appears to be a trait of mathematics used to describe traits of matter and non-matter fields. How accurate is this assumption? If energy is "nothing," how can the breaking of a chemical bond catalyze another reaction (e.g. formation of a bond)? That energy that is transferred, what exactly is it?