Forms of Energy

1 02 2012

Energy is the ability to do work. The energy that we use can exist in different forms.

Kinetic Energy is related to motion of waves, electrons, atoms, molecules substances and objects.

Potential Energy is the energy that is stored and related to the position of something.

Electrical Energy is the movement of electric charges. Electric charges that move through a wire is called electricity. Lightning is another example of electrical energy.


Chemical Energy is the energy stored is the bonds of atoms and molecules. It is the energy that holds these particles together. Biomass, petroleum, natural gas and propane are examples of stored chemical energy.



Natural gas


Thermal Energy is the internal energy in substances due to the vibration and movement of the atoms and molecules within substances. Geothermal energy is an example of thermal energy.

Geothermal energy

Mechanical Energy is the energy stored in objects by the application of a force. Compressed springs and stretched rubber bands are examples of stored mechanical energy.

Compressed springs

Stretched rubber bands

Motion Energy is the movement of objects and substances from one place to another. Objects and substances move when a force is applied. Wind is an example of motion energy.


Nuclear Energy is the energy stored in the nucleus of an atom. It is the energy that holds the nucleus together. Nuclear power plants split the nuclei of uranium atoms in a process called fission that releases energy.

Sound Energy is the movement of energy through substances. Sound is produced when a force causes an object or substance to vibrate.

Gravitational Energy is the energy of position or place. A rock at the top of a hill has gravitational potential energy. Hydro power, such as water in a reservoir behind a dam, is an example of gravitational potential energy.

Hydro power




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