Nine forms of energy for GCSE Physics
Here are 10 different forms of energy that you'll need to know for GCSE Physics. Whenever you see the word 'potential energy', think 'stored energy', for example in a battery which is a store of chemical potential energy (ready to convert into electrical energy).
1. Electrical Potential Energy. A cell is a store of electrical 'potential' energy in the form of positive and negative charges which attract. A flow of electrons through a resistor can transfer electrical potential energy into heat energy.
2. Sound Energy. Sound waves are pulses of kinetic energy transferred from one place to another by vibrating particles as they bump into their neighbours. Sound energy can travel through a gas, liquid or solid.
3. Nuclear Energy. A great deal of energy is stored within the nucleus of atoms. This can be released when a nucleus is split into two, or when two light nuclei fuse into a single nucleus. Nuclear power stations are powered by this energy.
4. Kinetic Energy. Every object that moves has this type of energy. The greater the object's speed, then the greater its kinetic energy. Mass is also important here - a more massive object will also have a greater kinetic energy.
5. Light. Visible light is a type of electro-magnetic radiation which travels as waves. The members of this 'E-M' wave family include gamma, x-ray, ultra-violet, visible light, infra-red, microwaves and radiowaves.
6. Heat energy can move from one place to another via conduction, convection and radiation. Another name for this type of energy is 'Thermal Energy'.
7. Gravitational Potential Energy. Any object that is raised above the ground gains in gravitational potential energy. If the object falls, then this energy is converted into kinetic energy as it falls.
8. Chemical Potential Energy. Another type of energy which can be stored easily. Examples include chemical potential energy in your muscles, or
9. Elastic Potential Energy. When you stretch or compress a spring you are storing energy in the bonds between the spring's metal atoms.