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Energy Transformations Or: How do we change one type of energy to another type? What is Energy? • Energy is “the ability to do work”. • It is what “makes things happen” from the smallest electron circling the nucleus of an atom to the light pouring from the surface of the sun. Two Forms of Energy • Energy can be described as in one of two forms: • Kinetic energy – something is moving. • Potential energy – something has energy stored and is ready to begin moving. Types of Energy Both forms of energy can occur in many types: • • • • • Thermal (or heat) energy Light energy Chemical energy Mechanical energy Electrical energy The Law of Conservation of Energy • One of the fundamental scientific laws is that “Energy cannot be created nor destroyed”. • The amount of energy in the universe is constant. • When energy changes from one form or one type to another--- that’s when things happen! Different devices can transform one type of energy to another. Batteries (Chemical energy) Light Energy Coal-fired boiler (Thermal energy) Switchyard (Electrical Energy) Steam Turbine Generator (Mechanical Energy) Air Conditioner (Thermal Energy) Sunshine (Light Energy) Solar Panels Hot water heater (Thermal Energy) Gasoline (chemical energy) Car engine converts it to heat (thermal energy), and then, to SPEED! (mechanical energy) Now, it’s your turn! Work within your group to come up with several ways you can use materials to convert one form of energy to another. Explain how you will know an energy conversion has occurred.