Forms of energy

  • Energy exists in different forms such as: Light, Sound, Kinetic, Nuclear, Electrical, Gravitational Potential, Elastic Potential and Chemical.
  • Energy can be transferred from one form into another.
  • Any object above the ground has gravitational potential energy.
  • A falling object transfers gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy.
1 of 4

Conservation of energy

  • Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transferred from one form to another, or from one place to another.
  • The total amount of energy is always the same, this is called the conservation of energy and it applies to all energy transfers.
  • For example:
  • when an object falls, gravitational potential energy is transferred to kinetic energy.
  • stretching an elastic band transfers chemical energy to elastic potential energy.
  • in a solar cell, light energy is transferred to electrical energy.
  • a swinging pendulum transfers energy from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and back again as it swings.
2 of 4

Useful energy

  • Useful energy is energy in the place we want it and the form we need it.
  • Wasted energy is energy that is not usefully transferred.
  • Useful energy and wasted energy both end up being transferred to the surroundings, which then become warmer.
  • As energy spreads out, it gets more difficult to use for further energy transfers.
  • Energy is often wasted becuase of friction between the moving parts of a machine. Friction is sometimes useful such as in the brakes on a bicycle or a car.
3 of 4

Energy and efficiency

  • Energy is measured in joules (J). This unit is used for all forms of energy.
  • The efficiency of an appliance = useful energy transferred by the appliance

                                                            total energy supplied to the appliance

  •  No machine can be more than 100% efficient and the less energy wasted, the more efficicent the machine.
  • Measures to make machines more efficient include reducing: friction, air resistance, electrical resistance, noise due to vibrations.
4 of 4


No comments have yet been made

Similar Physics resources:

See all Physics resources »See all Energy resources »