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Types Of Energy

Updated on October 21, 2011

For any work to be done by any object energy is required. Energy basically is defined as the capacity to do work. In broader terms any substance on the earth is composed of mass and energy and that energy helps the mass of the substance to move when a force is applied to it.

Energy can either be in a stored form when the substance or a body is in a stationary mode or it can be in expanded form when the body is moving and the force is being applied to it.

So generally there are only two basic kinds of energy; kinetic and potential energy which are further divided into subcategories.

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is the energy that enables a substance to move. Simply put, the kinetic energy is the energy of a moving substance.

Kinetic energy is denoted as KE and is directly proportional to the square of the velocity of the moving body i.e. if the body moves with a great speed the greater will be its energy.

However this rule can only be applied if the body moves at the speed less than the speed of light.

If it moves with the same velocity the theory of relativity is applied.

There many other forms of kinetic energy which are included under the category of types of energy.

Following are the forms of kinetic energy:

Heat Energy

Heat is produced by the movement molecules, the energy of the moving molecules is known as the heat energy.

The greater the movement of the molecules, greater will be the energy produced and more heat will be produced.

However heat energy also includes the potential energy due to the vibrational and electrical energy of atoms with in crystals.

Light Energy

The light energy is the energy of the moving particles of light known as the photons. The photons are the fastest moving particles moving with of course at the speed of light.

To such kinetic energy as said above the theory of relativity i.e. E = mc² is applied.

Electrical Kinetic Energy

The electrical kinetic energy is the energy of the moving electrons.

When an electrical force is applied the stored energy converts into moving energy causing the electrons to move. The moving electrons produce current.

Potential Energy

The potential energy is the stored energy of a substance. Any matter of mass on earth has a stored energy which on receiving force is converted to kinetic energy hence allowing them to do work. Potential energy is denoted by P.E.

Gravitation binding our solar system.
Gravitation binding our solar system.

To explain the concept of the conversion of potential energy into the kinetic energy we can take the example of any object placed at a height from the ground the object has some energy stored in it.

Now if you throw the object form the table to the ground, during the brief flight of the object the stored potential energy will be converted to kinetic energy which would help the object move and fall.

The above example shows a simple potential energy of an object ready for a fall, there are many other forms of potential energy which are given below:

Gravitational Energy

Gravitational energy is a form of potential energy in which energy is stored in a body due to the gravitational pull exerted from the center of the earth. It is represented by the following equation:

P.E= mgh

Where m is the mass, g is the gravitational constant and h is the height of the object form the ground.

Gravitational energy also exist in a body due to the universal law of gravitation, due to which every body in this universe experiences a force from every other object on this universe.

Nuclear explosion.
Nuclear explosion.

Chemical Energy

The chemical potential energy is stored in chemicals which gives the ability to particles to transform into new substances on receiving external energy or simply by absorbing the energy involved in making new chemicals.

Nuclear Energy

In certain elements a great energy is stored within their nucleus. When a force is applied the stored potential energy is converted into kinetic energy causing the particles to move in a rapid speed releasing heat and radiation. This type of stored potential energy is known as the nuclear energy.

Potential Energy Of A Coiled Spring

When a coiled spring is stationary it has potential energy stored in it. When the coil is stretched the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy which aids the movement of the coil downwards.

However not all of the energy is converted as some of the energy remains to provide the resistance of the elastic coiled spring, it is when the coil is stretched to the maximum and it loses its elasticity the potential energy becomes zero.

Electrical Potential Energy

In electrical circuits; like in batteries or capacitors, the energy is stored in the form of potential energy called volts. When force is applied the electrons move as the stored volts convert into the kinetic energy.


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      white lord, black angel 5 years ago

      this is useful, because you can solve your assignments

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      prakash bhatt 6 years ago

      in the page of good explain the knowledge of energy