Energy is the ability to move things and do work. It’s all around us, in all forms. Chemical energy comes from molecules and atoms, electrical energy is generated when electrons move, and gravitational energy comes from large objects. Heat is generated when molecules with different temperatures interact, and light comes from the Sun. Each of these forms of energy has different properties and is useful for working out various results of physical processes. So how do we use energy?
Essentially, energy is the ability to do work. It can be seen in heat, light, and work. It can be converted into different forms and is conserved. The unit of measurement for energy is the joule. You can convert kinetic energy into thermal energy or vice versa. But in order to convert energy to heat, you must first convert it to a form that can do work. This way, you’ll have more options when it comes to creating heat.
Potential energy is stored energy in objects. It is the opposite of kinetic energy. The heavier an object is, the more potential energy it holds. For example, a hydroelectric dam holds water at a certain level and releases it to run turbines when released. The water can then be used for electricity by releasing its stored potential energy. You can use this energy to power your car. If you have a water reservoir, you can use the water to power turbines.
In the International System of Units, the unit of energy is the joule. Named after the scientist and inventor Joule, the joule is equivalent to the amount of energy used to apply a newton of force through a distance of one metre. It is also possible to measure energy in non-SI units. Then, you’ll need a conversion factor. It’s all about understanding how to make sense of it.
There are two types of energy: potential and kinetic. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object, but it can also be released. The latter type of energy is stored in objects. Examples of kinetic energy are airplanes, items falling, wind, and books sitting on shelves. The joule is the standard unit of energy, but other units are used all over the world. There is a universal unit of energy, but not all units of energy are equal.
Mechanical energy refers to the amount of energy that objects transfer through their movement. The energy that objects store can be converted to other forms of energy, such as kinetic or potential. In other words, if a ball is dropped on a pin, it releases mechanical energy. A book on a bookshelf, for example, has higher gravitational potential energy. The higher the gravitational potential energy, the more likely it is to fall to the floor.