Chapter 1: Energy - What Is It?

Energy causes things to happen around us. Look out the window.

During the day, the sun gives out light and heat energy. At night, street lamps use electrical energy to light our way.

When a car drives by, it is being powered by gasoline, a type of stored energy.

The food we eat contains energy. We use that energy to work and play.

We learned the definition of energy in the introduction:

"Energy Is the Ability to Do Work."

Energy can be found in a number of different forms. It can be chemical energy, electrical energy, heat (thermal energy), light (radiant energy), mechanical energy, and nuclear energy.

 Stored and Moving Energy

Energy makes everything happen and can be divided into two types:

  • Stored energy is called potential energy.
  • Moving energy is called kinetic energy.

With a pencil, try this example to know the two types of energy.

Put the pencil at the edge of the desk and push it off to the floor. The moving pencil uses kinetic energy.

Now, pick up the pencil and put it back on the desk. You used your own energy to lift and move the pencil. Moving it higher than the floor adds energy to it. As it rests on the desk, the pencil has potential energy. The higher it is, the further it could fall. That means the pencil has more potential energy.

 How Do We Measure Energy?
 Changing Energy
 Food Energy
 Heat Energy

Next chapter is about Electricity.

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