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Energy Vocabulary

TermDefinition
WORK The transfer of energy from one object to another (moves)
ENERGY The ability to do work OR cause a change.
FORCE A push or pull.
KINETIC ENERGY Energy associated with items that are doing something – moving, reacting, etc.
POTENTIAL ENERGY Energy that is stored and held in readiness- not being used yet
ELASTIC POTENTIAL ENERGY Energy that is associated with objects that can be stretched or compressed.
GRAVITATIONAL POTENTIAL ENERGY Energy that depends on height. (when things are lifted up and can fall)
MECHANICAL ENERGY Any energy associated with motion or position of an object.
THERMAL ENERGY Total amount of energy (speed) is in the tiny particles of an object.
CHEMICAL ENERGY Energy that is stored in bonds that hold compounds together.
ELECTRICAL ENERGY Moving charges carrying energy from one substance to another.
ELECTROMAGNETIC ENERGY Energy that travels in waves. Also called radiant energy.
NUCLEAR ENERGY Energy released when the nuclei of atoms are split or combined
NUCLEAR FISSION The splitting of atoms - used in nuclear power plants
NUCLEAR FUSION The joining of atoms - happens in stars
ENERGY CONVERSION A change from one form of energy to another.
(LAW OF) CONSERVATION OF ENERGY Energy cannot be created or destroyed
PHOTOSYNTHESIS Process where plants use Carbon Dioxide, water and energy from the Sun to make food
FUEL A material that gives off or provides energy (when it burns.)
FOSSIL FUEL High energy substances formed from the remains of organisms.
COMBUSTION The process of burning fuel (to release the chemical energy)