So, what is energy?
Energy is the ability of any object to do work.
It exists in all things. It cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be changed from one form to another.
Energy that is stored and waiting to be released is called potential energy.
The energy of a moving object is called kinetic energy.
Forms of potential energy
- Chemical energy - food stored as fat in the body or power in a battery.
- Nuclear energy - the stored energy in an atom.
- Biomass energy - energy stored in a piece of firewood or dung that will be released as chemical and heat energy when the wood is burnt.
Forms of kinetic energy
- Mechanical energy - the energy of one object or substance moving another object or substance.
- Thermal energy - energy associated with heat, like a hot frypan.
- Sound energy - the energy of compression waves, like the banging of a door slamming shut.
- Electrical energy - the energy of moving charged atomic particles.
- Radiant energy - the energy of electromagnetic waves, including light and heat from the sun.
- Light energy - light from a source such as a flame or bulb.
Source: Image courtesy of ABARE