Important types of energy you should know

Are you curious to know what types of energy you should know about? Many people on US Reviews are interested in this very important topic nowadays.

In this article we will talk about the most common energy sources: we will go from defining energy to the characteristics of each form of energy, to give you an overview of the possibilities in this field.

If you are wondering how many types of energy there are, you know that we can classify them into two broad categories:

  • kinetic energy (energy of moving objects)
  • potential energy (stored energy).
  • These are the two basic forms of energy.

What is energy?

By energy, we mean that physical quantity that measures the ability of a body or a physical system to work, regardless of whether this work is or can be done.

The basic principle of energy is that it is not created, it is not destroyed, it simply changes its shape.

Energy tends to move from one form to another, so that different forms of energy do not always remain that way, but are transformed into one another. Speaking of concrete examples, chemical energy is often transformed into heat and sometimes (as in the case of the battery) into electricity; nuclear energy and mechanical energy spontaneously turn into heat.

Energy conversion can take place through special systems or spontaneously.

Forms of energy

Let’s now take a brief description of the types of energy you should know, which are specifically:

Mechanical energy, classic as the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy

  • Chemical energy
  • Electromagnetic energy
  • Gravitational energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Mechanical energy

Mechanical energy corresponds to the sum of kinetic energy and potential energy related to the same system. The distinction of the total energy of system E, which also includes the internal energy, is a necessity.

Chemical energy

Among the types of energy is the chemical, which varies due to the formation or breaking of chemical bonds of any kind in the chemical elements involved in chemical reactions.

In other words, we can define chemical energy as the form of energy stored in chemical bonds, attributable to the sum of the potential energy of the electrostatic interactions of the charges present in the ponderable matter, plus the kinetic energy of the electrons.

Electromagnetic energy

The energy of the electromagnetic field is that energy stored in a certain region of space by the electromagnetic field and consists of the sum of the energies associated with the electric field and the magnetic field.

Gravitational energy

Concerning the Newtonian theory of gravity, we define gravitational energy as the potential energy relative to the gravitational pull between masses.

Thermal energy

Now let’s talk about one of the fundamental types of energy to consider: thermal energy. It is that form of energy possessed by anybody that has a temperature above absolute zero.

Thermal energy is an extensive amount, and the amount of this energy that a body possesses is proportional to temperature. In light of what is expressed in the second law of thermodynamics, it is considered a form of degraded energy, because not all thermal energy can be converted into mechanical energy. On the contrary, any other form of energy can transform more or less spontaneously in time into thermal energy.

Nuclear energy

We are now talking about nuclear or atomic energy, which refers to those phenomena responsible for the generation of energy following transformations in atomic nuclei. These transformations are called “nuclear reactions”.

Atomic energy comes from profound changes in the very structure of matter. Together with renewable and fossil sources, it is a primary source of energy, ie it is present in nature and does not derive from the transformation of another form of energy.