Energy 101 – How Is Energy Conservation Related?


Energy 101 – How Is Energy Conservation Related?

Energy, sometimes called kinetic energy (or just simply energy), is defined as the amount of power required to move an object from a point A to point B. Energy is an abstract concept and differs from matter in that it is not affected by gravity or relative velocity. Rather it is described by a set of potentials or potential energies that are changing in time. The concept of energy pertains to the ability of any system to be transformed from one state to another without being changed in its essential characteristics. It can be defined as a particular quantity that yields a particular result.

Energy, as we just saw, is used to describe the process of transformation and motion of any system that changes shape. In a sense, energy is a measure of how much change takes place, and how that change is affected by outside factors. Energy, when viewed in this light, is both a product of and independent of the nature of matter. So, while heat is formed at the point of a heating source and is transferred to an object as its temperature rises, energy in the form of heat is not completely independent of matter; it can only be produced or destroyed by matter.

Energy is measured in joules, a unit of force that measures the amount of change in a system. Energy is measured in wattage, a unit of power measured against the amount of time it takes to move an object from a point A to B. Energy is a measure of potential change. An electrical charge is one type of potential energy, while a kinetic energy is the amount of force required to move an object. Kinetic energy is the amount of energy needed to push or pull an object from a point A to B.

Heat Energy: Heat energy refers to the transfer, generation, and distribution of heat. This occurs through convection, conduction, and radiation. When a body has enough heat energy, it is said to be hot. The amount of heat in a system, whether coming from the environment or from within a material, is called its density. When the density of a system is greater than the volume of the space in which it exists, it becomes a solvent.

The Problem of Energy Conservation In the late 20th Century, there was a great deal of interest given to energy conservation. Most major newspapers publish several articles each week advocating the use of alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar energy. Many politicians also support energy conservation. Unfortunately, with the growth of nuclear power plants, nuclear waste, and other environmental concerns, many people are becoming more reluctant to use non-renewable energy sources, especially when these energy conservation concerns are being placed on the back burner due to political pressure. Fortunately, the movement toward energy conservation is gaining ground.

Energy Storage: Some energy is used by plants to power the motors that turn their turbines; this energy is called electricity. The energy stored in the fuel rods of a nuclear power plant can be replaced by burning gas, oil, coal, or wood. Other forms of energy storage take the form of water, which is vaporized into steam to create energy for the turbine. One type of energy storage, however, involves trapping energy within metal ions, which are then converted into electrical charges, thereby storing energy. This type of energy storage is commonly found in battery cells used in automobiles and handheld power generators.