Energy

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An electrical storm contains energy that transferred from air movements to electrical discharges. image:wikipedia

What is energy? The most basic definition from physics is the capacity or property to change the state or condition of something.  

The curious feature of ‘the capacity to’ is that it can’t be created or destroyed but can change form.

Although practically when energy goes from one type to another there is often not an exact conversion but a small amount gets changed into heat energy. 

Energy typically takes a variety of forms. But almost all energy can be explained through the interactions of fundamental forces.


Types or forms of energy include:

  • Electrical energy (aka electricity) - light energy (electromagnetic)
  • Chemical/ biochemical energy as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) - food we eat (carbohydrates, fats/oils), the conversion of light into stored energy in plants. 
  • Kinetic energy (moving energy, either at the macro scale or micro/subatomic scale) 
    • - linear motion 
    • - circular motion
  • Nuclear energy - the sun (fusion) - radioactive decay (fission)
  • Elastic energy - springs & rubber bands - a type of chemical bond energy
  • Potential energy - 
    • Gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy (mgh-1/2mv^2)