Energy

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There are many kind of Energy.  The kind of Energy usually relates to the force that is involved. 


A few types of Energy:

  • Gravitational (Gravity)
  • Thermal (Heat)
  • Light (Solar)
  • Wind 
  • Electrical
  • Potential
  • Chemical (Food)
  • Kinetic 
  • Electromagnetic (Magnetic)


Energy is always conserved - it can change from one form to another.   Energy can not be created or destroyed, it just changes shape. Any form of energy can be converted into another form with limited, or even perfect, efficiency.  The total energy in a system remains the same. 


Energy travels through every natural systems.  For example, that water cycle, photosynthesis, a Food Chain, continental drift, weather patterns, and many more.  Every time a chemical bond is broke, metabolism occurs, or something moves energy is used, stored, or transformed.  All of the energy we have may have been a result of the big bang! (crazy?)


It is import to consider energy when we consider oil, pollution, plastics, farming, health, and the natural world.  As humans, we can use energy to transform things in to things that can not be easily broken down in nature.  Such as carbon monoxide, vehicle emissions, or plastics.  Also, we can rapidly deplete easily usable forms of energy, like oil.    


All food energy is first consumed by autotrophs, or producers. The autotrophs we are most likely to interact with collect their energy from the sun and are called photoautotrophs. There are also chemoautotrophs that live where there is very little to not light like underwater volcanic vents. They create their energy from chemical reactions.


Common alternative conceptions about energy1:

  • Animals get their energy from sleeping
  • Animals get their energy from water
  • Animals get their energy from keeping warm
  • Animals get their energy form air
  • Plants get their energy from soil
  • Plants get their energy from air
  • Plants get their energy from wind
  • Plants get their energy from water


For more information on Energy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy

(1) http://www.west.asu.edu/rillero/101alt.con.htm