Nature of Energy:


    1.    Explain how energy and work are related and why they are measured in the same units.

    2.    List five main forms of energy and give examples of each.

    3.    Define Mechanical energy.

Key Terms:

    energy        mechanical energy





Energy is defined as the ability to do work. It comes in many forms, many which may seem obvious and some that are at the molecular level.  Regardless of the form, if work has been performed energy was present.  Energy can also be thought of as the ability to cause change. When you plug an item into an electric source, wind a spring or simply raise an object to a height, you have stored energy in that object.  You have given that object the ability to cause change or to do work.

There are 5 forms of energy

        Mechanical energy

        Heat energy

        Chemical energy

        Electromagnetic energy

        Nuclear energy


Mechanical energy:

Matter in motion has mechanical energy. It can be due to the position of an object or due to the motion of the object.

The greater the matter, the greater the mechanical energy.  

Can be in the form of potential or kinetic energy.


Heat energy:

The internal motion of particles of matter is called heat energy.

Heat energy often changes the temperature or phase of any form of matter.


Chemical energy:

The energy that bonds atoms or ions together is called chemical energy.

When the bonds are formed, energy is released.


Electromagnetic energy:

Moving electric charges have electromagnetic energy.

Electromagnetic energy comes in the following forms:



Radio waves  


Infrared radiation

Visible light

Ultra violet radiation  


Gamma rays


Nuclear energy:

The nucleus of an atom is the source of nuclear energy.

Created when a nucleus splits.

Created when atoms collide at high speeds and form new atoms.

The product is heat and light.

Nuclear energy is the most concentrated form of energy.