Types of Energy

By: Ronen Santiago

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is the energy of an object that is due to the object's motion. All moving objects have kinetic energy.When you swing a hammer, you give it kinetic energy, which does work on the nail. Another example is in baseball, energy is transferred from the bat to the baseball. As the ball is moving it has kinetic energy.


The equation for kinetic energy is mv^2/2. The m stands for the object's mass in kilograms. The v stands for the objects speed.

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Potential Energy

Potential Energy is the energy that an object has because of the position, shape, or condition of the object. When you stretch out a bow it has potential energy. When the bow is pulled all the way back it has the max amount of potential energy.


There is also gravitational potential energy. Books on a shelf have gravitational potential energy. The amount of gravitational potential energy that an object has depends on its weight and height. The equation for finding gravitational potential energy is weight times height.

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Mechanical Energy

Mechanical energy is the amount of work an object can do because of the object's kinetic and potential energy. Kinetic and potential energy are kinds of mechanical energy. For example a pin is juggled, its mechanical energy is the sum of potential and kinetic energy. The equation for mechanical energy is potential energy + kinetic energy.
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Thermal Energy

Thermal energy is all of the kinetic energy due to random motion of the particles that make up an object. The particles move faster at higher temperatures than lower temperatures. The faster the particles move the more kinetic energy and thermal energy in the object. It also matters how many particles the object has.


A lake has more thermal energy than steaming water because it has more particles. The steaming waters particles move faster than the lake because it has a higher temperature.

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Electrical Energy

Electrical Energy is the energy of moving electrons. Electrons are negatively charged particles of atoms. The electrical energy used in your homes comes from power plants.


Fro example if you plug in an amplifier and turn it on. The electrons in the wires transfer to different parts of the amplifier. The electrons move to do work that makes you hear the sound from the amplifier.

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