What are energy types?

Types of energy for doing work are mainly six basic forms such as chemical, electrical, radiant, mechanical, thermal, and nuclear energy. Other forms are sound, electromagnetic radiation, electrochemical, surface energy, etc. These various kinetic or potential forms of energy have been obtained from various natural phenomena.

Energy types or forms such as chemical, electrical, radiant, mechanical, thermal and nuclear energy

According to the law of conservation of energy, each of these forms is converted to another form. It states that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed but may be transferred from one form to another. For example, when we burn wood or fuel like gasoline or natural gas, it changes chemical energy to thermal or mechanical energy.

Heat energy

Heat is another form of energy that can yield work or can be produced from work. If heat is obtained from work, the amount of heat produced is proportional to the work spent by the system. When heat is transferred into work, there is proportionality between the work spent and heat disappearing.

Kinetic energy

It is a type of energy that is obtained by the motion of an object. For example, walking, falling, flying, and throwing. It can be calculated by the equation,
KE = mv2/2
where m = mass of the object and v = velocity of the object.

Potential energy

It is stored energy that can be measured by the amount of work done by the object. For example, books on a table, water in a lake. It can be calculated by the equation,
PE = mgh
where, m = mass of the object, g = acceleration due to gravity, and h = height.

Different forms of energy

Chemical energy

It is a form of energy stored within a chemical substance or molecules due to chemical bonding between atoms. It can be absorbed or released during chemical reactions or heating.

Batteries, food, fuels, and oxygen gas are the most common media of chemical energy. Electrical energy can be converted to chemical energy or vice versa through an electrochemical cell.

When a fuel is burned, the chemical energy of molecular oxygen is converted to heat. Green plants convert solar energy to chemical energy through the process of photosynthesis.

Electrical energy

It is the form of potential energy resulting from the flow of charged particles. It is the most common form which can be easily converted into other forms of energy. Electricity generation is a process that produced electrical energy from other types of energy.

Mechanical energy

It is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy obtained by the motion and change of position of an object. It can be measured by the formula,
mechanical energy = KE + PE
= mv2/2 + mgh

Radiant energy

It is the form of energy produced from the movement of electromagnetic waves or light. It is most commonly used in the fields of radiometry, solar radiation, heating, and lighting.

Visible light such as sunlight carries radiant energy which is stored as chemical energy through photosynthesis.

Thermal energy

It is heat energy or the energy carries by a system or object due to the movement or vibration of its molecules. It is a kinetic type of energy due to the movement of particles. Heat or thermal energy obtained from different sources is directly related to temperature.

Hot tea is cool in the room due to the loss of some thermal energy. Therefore, heat flows from the tea to the room by slowing the vibration of tea molecules over time. The tea cools to the same temperature which carries by the room.

Nuclear energy

It is the form of energy released due to the splitting of atomic nuclei. We used nuclear fission reactions for the production of usable nuclear energy. The nuclear fusion reaction that occurs in the interior of the sun is the main source of energy for our earth.

Different types of energy sources

Different types of energy sources which we used in our daily life can be classified into two types

  1. Nonrenewable sources
  2. Renewable sources

Nonrenewable sources

Fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas, and coal are non-renewable resources because we cannot be renewed these sources by any natural process.

Renewable sources

Different types of renewable sources of energy

Natural resources such as wind, water, solar, biofuel, and geothermal energy are types of renewable sources because these sources can be renewed by natural processes or they can be continuously available in nature.

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