Types of energy
Sep 16, 2009
There are 7 main forms of energy mechanical, heat, chemical, radiant, electrical, sound, and nuclear. Mechanical energy is the energy of motion. Water rushing down a stream is an example of mechanical energy. The blowing wind and running people are examples of mechanical energy. Heat energy is related to the movement of the particles that make up matter. These particles are called atoms, and they are always moving. The movement of atoms causes heat energy. The faster the movement, the more heat energy is produced. You can feel heat energy if you rub your hands together quickly. The mechanical energy of rubbing your hands changes to heat energy. Chemical energy is stored in fuels, such as charcoal, gasoline, and even food. When we burn charcoal in a grill, the stored energy is released as heat energy to cook our food. When we eat the food, the chemical energy stored in the food is used to power our muscles. In another example of chemical energy, a rocket burns fuel and uses it to launch off the ground. Electricity is used every day in our homes to power tools and equipment. Electricity is the movement of electrons. Electricity is considered a secondary energy resource because it is generated by using primary energy resources. At most power plants, steam is forest past turbines that will spin a drive shaft that turns a coiled wire inside a magnetic field. When a coil of wires spins in a magnetic field or a magnet moves in a coil of wire, electricity is produced. Magnetism can be used to produce electricity. To make the steam to spin the drive shaft of furnace burns fossil fuel to keep water. Or at a nuclear power plant, a nuclear reaction is used to heat up water. In either case, electricity is one of our least expensive forms of energy. Radiant energy includes light, x-rays, and radio waves. Radiant energy in the form of light is critical to life on earth. Green plants depend on light as a major ingredient in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the food making process upon which green plants depend. During photosynthesis, carbon dioxide, minerals, water, and sunlight are used to make food in the form of glucose, which is sugar, and to release oxygen. Plants are the food makers of our world. In addition, they release oxygen, which is critical to survival on our planet. Nuclear energy has to do with the nucleus or center of an atom. When this center splits, it releases a large amount of energy. This is called fission, and is what happens at a nuclear power plant. When atoms join together or fuse, they also release energy. This is what happens on the sun as hydrogen atoms join to form helium atoms, and tremendous energy is released. This process is called nuclear fusion.