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Nuclear Fuels
The main nuclear fuels are uranium and plutonium. These are radioactive
metals. Nuclear fuels are not burnt to release energy. Instead the fuels are
involved in nuclear reactions in the nuclear reactor, which leads to heat energy
being released.
Unlike fossil fuels, nuclear fuels do not produce carbon dioxide or sulphur
dioxide when they burn.
Nuclear fuels are nonrenewable energy resources. If there is an accident,
large amounts of radioactive material could be released into the environment.…read more

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Solar Energy
Solar cells are devices that convert light energy directly into electrical energy.
They are used to power calculators, road signs and satellites orbiting the Earth.
Solar panels do not generate electricity, but they heat up water. They are often
located on roofs of buildings where they can receive heat energy from the Sun.
It is a renewable energy resource with no fuel costs and no harmful polluting
gases are produced.
Solar cells are expensive and can be inefficient.…read more

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Geothermal energy is a renewable resource and there are no fuel costs. No
harmful polluting gases are produced.
But most parts of the world do not have suitable areas where geothermal
energy can be exploited.
Heat Transfer And Efficiency
Heat can be transferred by conduction, convection and radiation.
Conduction and convection involve particles, but radiation involves
electromagnetic waves.
Metals are good conductors because they contain free electrons.
During conduction ions vibrate continually. The hotter the metal, the more kinetic
energy these vibrations have.…read more

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Using Electricity
There are four main stages.
1. The fuel is burnt to boil water to makes steam.
2. The steam makes a turbine spin.
3. The spinning turbine turns a generator which generates electricity.
4. The electricity goes to the transformers to produce the correct voltage.
A transformer is an electrical device that changes the voltage of an alternating
current supply.
Energy is transferred from power stations to consumers through the National
Grid.…read more

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Waves, Radiation & Space
Waves are vibrations that transfer energy from place to place. They do this
without transferring matter particles.
Sound waves must travels through some material substance. The particles of the
medium vibrate as the wave travels.
Electromagnetic waves do not need a medium. They can travel through a
vacuum. Electrical and magnetic fields vibrate as the waves travel.
As waves travel they set up patterns of disturbance.…read more

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Least Energy
Gamma radiation mostly passes through skin and soft tissue, but some of it is
absorbed by cells.
Used to:
sterilise surgical instruments
to kill harmful bacteria in food
target and kill cancer cells
But in general exposure to gamma radiation is dangerous, as it can make cells
Xrays mostly pass through skin and soft tissue but do not easily pass through
bone or metal.…read more

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Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
There are microwaves coming from every direction in space. The Big Bang
theory states that this is energy created at the beginning of the Universe and has
been travelling through space ever since.
A satellite called COBE has mapped the background microwave radiation of the
Universe as we see it.
Everything we know about distant stars and galaxies comes from analysing the
radiation they produce.
Optical telescopes
These can observe visible light from space.…read more


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