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What forms energy?
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Middle School Teacher
I'm not sure whether your question is
(1) what makes or creates energy, or
(2) what forms does energy take.
Energy can't be created or destroyed. It just changes form.
Energy is most obvious when it is kinetic energy, which is the energy involved in movement or action. So, when a football is thrown, there is kinetic energy involved in the movement of the ball.
The other form of energy is called potential energy, which is energy that is waiting to be used. There are several kinds of potential energy:
Chemical: Energy stored in molecules can be released in various ways. For example, gasoline can be burned and food can be digested.
Electrical: Examples of this are energy stored in a battery or in a cloud that is about to send out a bolt of lightning.
Thermal: Just about everything has some sort of thermal or heat energy. Even things we think of as being cold are not at absolute zero and so they have some energy in them.
Gravitational: If a ball is held up in the air, the energy that it takes to hold it there against the pull of gravity is potential energy -- if you let go of the ball that energy will be used to make the ball drop.
Elastic: An example of this is a rubber band that is pulled taut.
Posted by cburr on October 29, 2008 at 8:16 AM (Answer #1)
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