Energy: A Scientific Definition
I find it fascinating that various aspects of energy exist in our bodies. The more we move the more we produce different forms of energy. Our designer is AMAZING! Heat can be produced as our heart rates increase and we sweat. Kinetic energy moves through us. Mechanical is present as we MOVE. We absorb light from the sun. Magnetic and nuclear are present in the world we live and Chemical is apart of our food and environment.
Energy is defined as the capacity of a physical system to perform work. However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because energy exists, that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily available to do work.
Forms of Energy
- Heat – Heat or thermal energy is energy from the movement of atoms or molecules. It may be considered as energy relating to temperature.
- Kinetic Energy – Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. A swinging pendulum has kinetic energy.
- Potential Energy – This is energy due to an object’s position. For example, a ball sitting on a table has potential energy with respect to the floor because gravity acts upon it.
- Mechanical Energy – Mechanical energy is the sum of the kinetic and potential energy of a body.
- Light – Photons are a form of energy.
- Electrical Energy – This is energy from the movement of charged particles, such as protons, electrons, or ions.
- Magnetic Energy – This form of energy results from a magnetic field.
- Chemical Energy – Chemical energy is released or absorbed by chemical reactions. It is produced by breaking or forming chemical bonds between atoms and molecules.
- Nuclear Energy – This is energy from interactions with the protons and neutrons of an atom. Typically this relates to the strong force. Examples are energy released by fission and fusion.
Other forms of energy may include geothermal energy and classification of energy as renewable or nonrenewable.
There may be overlap between forms of energy and an object invariably possesses more than one type at a time. For example, a swinging pendulum has both kinetic and potential energy, thermal energy, and (depending on its composition) may have electrical and magnetic energy.