Energy is the capacity of a physical system to do work. This physical system may be a train carrying thousands of people or the body of a human being. Energy is omnipresent in all spheres of the Earth, without an end or beginning, but with an endless chain of transformation of its physical state. Energy is not confined to a definite form and can be converted to another form based on the law of conservation of energy. Energy is broadly categorized into two forms - potential and kinetic energy. Potential energy is the stored energy or the definite energy of a position, while kinetic energy is the energy associated with moving objects. All the different types of energy fall in either of the two categories. In the following lines, we have provided information on the various types of energy.
Different Kinds of Energy
Mechanical energy is the energy possessed by an object, depending upon its motion or position. Mechanical energy can take the form of kinetic energy as in the energy of an object's movement or it can take the form of potential energy by virtue of the stored energy of an object in a particular position. Mechanical energy can be seen in the form of a pendulum, landslides, and avalanches etc.
Nuclear energy is the energy that is created from the nucleus of an atom. Nuclear energy becomes available when unstable nuclei naturally change by throwing off particles.
Thermal energy or heat is the energy present inside the body. This energy is caused due to motion of the atoms that are present internally. As an object gets heated up, its atoms and molecules move and collide faster. Geothermal energy is the thermal energy present in the Earth.
Electrical energy, referred to as electricity by the layman, is energy stored in the back-and-forth motion of electrons in electric utility lines. Lighting is an example of a natural electrical energy. Lightning involves the transformation of electrical energy into thermal and light energy.
Chemical energy is the energy that is stored in chemical form, in the bonds of atoms and molecules. Coal, biomass, petroleum products are some examples of stored chemical energy. For instance, when we burn wood or coal, the stored chemical energy gets converted into thermal energy.
Radiant energy or electromagnetic energy is the energy carried by electromagnetic radiation. Radiant energy is present in the form of visible light, x-rays, gamma rays and radio waves etc. Sunlight is a type of radiant energy that supports life on Earth.
Gravitational energy is the energy stored in the height of an object, as it is dependent on the gravitational pull of the Earth. The higher the object is from the surface of the earth; the higher would be its gravitational energy.
Motion energy is the energy associated with the movement of an object. Faster an object moves, more would be its motion energy. Wind is an example of motion energy.
Sound energy is the energy produced by sound vibrations, as they move through longitudinal waves. The amount of energy produce by energy is too minimal to have any effective use.