Exploring Energy: What Keeps Us Moving
Discovery Place Science
In the science world, energy is what keeps everything in the universe moving, including people! Energy is a part of our daily lives and a fascinating part of the mechanism of how everything works.
While there are several types of energy, we are in the Discovery Place Science lab to learn about three important types: chemical, kinetic and potential energy.
Chemical energy, like it sounds, comes from a reaction from chemicals. One example of chemical energy is the food you eat that your body processes and makes available for your body systems.
Another example is rockets! Rockets store chemical potential energy in the form of rocket fuel that gets used in a combustion reaction.
Kinetic energy refers to the kind of energy an object has due to its motion. For example, a ball rolling down a hill has kinetic energy.
The amount of kinetic energy an object has depends on its motion and its mass. A giant boulder rolling down a hill has more kinetic energy than a golf ball rolling down a wedge.
Potential energy is the energy something holds that is available to use. For example, think of gravitational potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy is something that happens when an object is held over something with a gravitational pull. The higher up the object, the more gravitational potential energy there is.
Even More Energy
Other kinds of energy include thermal energy, energy from heat, plasma energy (energy from the fourth state of matter) and electrical energy which comes from the flow of electrons.