Basics Of Energy | Various Forms of Energy | Energy Conservation
Definition Of Energy
Energy is the ability to do work and work is the transfer of energy from one form to another. In practical terms, energy is what we use to manipulate the world around us, whether by exciting our muscles, by using electricity, or by using mechanical devices such as automobiles.
Energy comes in different forms – heat (thermal), light (radiant), mechanical, electrical, chemical, and nuclear energy.
Various Forms of Energy
There are two types of energy – stored (potential) energy and working (kinetic) energy.
For example, the food we eat contains chemical energy, and our body stores this energy until we release it when we work or play.
1) Potential Energy
Potential energy is stored energy and the energy of position (gravitational). It exists in various forms.
2) Chemical Energy
Chemical energy is the energy stored in the bonds of atoms and molecules. Biomass, petroleum, natural gas, propane and coal are examples of stored chemical energy.
3) Nuclear Energy
Nuclear energy is the energy stored in the nucleus of an atom – the energy that holds the nucleus together.
The nucleus of a uranium atom is an example of nuclear energy.
4) Stored Mechanical Energy
Stored mechanical energy is energy stored in objects by the application of a force. Compressed springs and stretched rubber bands are examples of stored mechanical energy.
5) Gravitational Energy
Gravitational energy is the energy of place or position. Water in a reservoir behind a hydropower dam is an example of gravitational energy. When the water is released to spin the turbines, it becomes motion energy.
6) Kinetic Energy
Kinetic energy is energy in motion- the motion of waves, electrons, atoms, molecules and sub-stances. It exists in various forms.
7) Radiant Energy
Radiant energy is electromagnetic energy that travels in transverse waves. Radiant energy includes visible light, x-rays, gamma rays and radio waves. Solar energy is an example of radiant energy.
8) Thermal Energy
Thermal energy (or heat) is the internal energy in substances- the vibration and movement of atoms and molecules within substances. Geothermal energy is an example of thermal energy.
The movement of objects or substances from one place to another is motion. Wind and hydropower are examples of motion.
Sound is the movement of energy through substances in longitudinal (compression/rarefaction) waves.
11) Electrical Energy
Electrical energy is the movement of electrons. Lightning and electricity are examples of electrical energy.
Energy is defined as “the ability to do work.” In this sense, examples of work include moving something, lifting something, warming something, or lighting something.
The following is an example of the transformation of different types of energy into heat and power.