Term Definition
Energy The ability to do work
Potential Energy Stored energy and the energy of position.
Kinetic Energy The energy of motion.

Stored Mechanical/Elastic Energy

The energy stored in an object by applying a force.

Compressed springs and stretched rubber bands are examples.

Atomic/Nuclear Energy The energy stored in the nucleus of atoms. Energy is generated when the nucleus of atoms join together or split apart.

Chemical Energy

The energy stored in matter that is released during a chemical change.

(Ex. Biomass, petroleum (oil), natural gas, and food)

Gravitational Energy The energy of position or place. (Ex. Rock on a hill)
Heat/Thermal Energy The energy related to heat and the temperature of matter.
Electrical Energy The energy of electrically charged matter. (Ex. Lightening)
Light/Radiant Energy

Electromagnetic energy that travels in vertical (transverse) waves.

(Ex. Visible light, x-rays, gamma rays, and radio waves)

Mechanical Energy

The sum of potential and kinetic energy in an object that is used to do work; this energy has potential and kinetic energy.

Lifting a hammer (potential energy) and then hitting a nail into wood (kinetic energy) is an example of this type of energy.

Sound Energy

The movement of energy through substances in longitudinal (compression/rarefaction) waves.

Sound is produced when a force causes an object or substance to vibrate; the energy is transferred through the substance in a longitudinal wave.

Law of Conservation of Energy Energy can neither be created or destroyed, it just changes form.
Energy Conversion The process of changing from one form of energy into another
Force A push or pull; all forces have both size and direction.
Balanced Force When the forces applied to an object produce a net force of zero; balanced forces DO NOT cause any change in motion.
Unbalanced Force When the net force of an object is NOT zero; it takes an unbalanced force to produce any change in motion (starting or stopping).
Speed The rate at which an object moves; speed depends on the DISTANCE traveled and the TIME taken to travel that distance. Speed=distance/time
Velocity The speed of an object in a particular direction.
Conduction Heat transfer through direct contact; usually a solid.
Convection Heat transfer through a convection current; gas or liquid.
Radiation Heat transfer through electromagnetic waves.
Pulley A simple machine that uses a grooved wheel and a rope to raise, lower or move a load.
Inclined Plane Slope used to lift heavy objects.

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