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Energy & Electricity

Generating Electricity

About 75% of the UK's electricity is made in power stations fuelled by fossil
fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Fossil fuels were formed from the
remains of living organisms millions of years ago.

For a given amount of energy released, coal…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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There are some simple ways to reduce heat loss, including fitting carpets,
curtains and draught excluders.

Heat loss through windows can be reduced using doubleglazing. The gap
between the two panels of glass is filled with air. Heat loss through conduction is
reduced, as air is a poor conductor of…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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reflected off a layer of the atmosphere called the `ionosphere'. So they can reach
receivers that are not in line of sight because of the curvature of the Earth's
surface. This means radio signals can be sent around the world without using

Origins Of The Universe

The Big Bang…

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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


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