Energy and Forces

Energy is all around us – in the wind that blows, the car that moves, or even the light that glows. Energy is the ability to do work, or cause a change. We use energy to move and work.

boy playing football
We eat and burn energy to work, move, or play.

Forms of Energy:

Energy comes in different forms. Heat, light, sound, electricity and even movement are all forms of energy.

Kinetic energy: Kinetic energy is the energy of an object in motion. It is kinetic energy that moves a car or a train!

Potential energy: Energy that is stored in an object is potential energy. A stretched elastic band is the best example of potential energy. When you stretch the elastic band – energy is stored in the elastic as potential energy. When you let it go, this potential energy is quickly transformed into kinetic energy!

Other Forms of Energy

  1. Heat energy is energy created by heat. Fire is a good example.
  2. Chemical energy is energy that is created by chemical energy.
  3. Gravitational energy is the movement that is caused by gravitational pull.
  4. Electrical energy as the name suggests is energy from electricity.

Energy Changes Form:

Energy does not die out. It only changes form. The flowing river has kinetic energy, which is transformed to mechanical energy by a turbine. The mechanical energy is then transformed to electrical energy. When electrical energy transfers to a light bulb this energy is converted into light and heat energy.

hydro electric power plant

As energy transforms, usually the total amount of energy at the end, and the start remains the same.

Energy in Rivers

The Earth’s gravity pulls everything towards its centre. The flowing water in a river is therefore pulled downhill. This flowing water is full of energy, which we can harness to make electricity.

This is How We Do This:

We build large dams that collect the water that is flowing from a river. The stored water flows down little spaces at great force. This energy turns the turbines which then generate electricity. The electricity produced from the energy of flowing river is called as hydroelectric power. This is a renewable source of energy.