What is Energy?

“What is energy?” I was provoked to ponder. Wracking my brain for a reply, I began taking into consideration everything that I had learned over the past few weeks whilst studying physics. I eventually answered with, “umm… power, the power to do things?” After asking each individual in our small class of eight, our teacher, Guillermo, lead us into a discussion in hope to brighten our understanding of energy.  Allowing ones innate curiosity to blossom over such a concept, I used my research skills to google, “what is energy?”

I was answered by www.livescience.com: “In physics, energy is the ability to do work or the ability to move or elicit change in matter.” Huh. I was fairly spot on with my initial description. Although, further investigation shown light upon my misuse of vocabulary. And it turns out that there are different types of energy.

Power, according to www.physicsclassroom.com, is “the rate at which work is done.” Work, according to the same source, is “when a force acts upon an object to cause a displacement of the object.” In relation to energy, which under mechanical energy there are two types, kinetic and potential, there is an equation which I attempt to understand, but my brief encounter with the subject leaves me with a shallow understand of it.

From a different article on www.physicsclassroom.com:

“TMEi + Wnc = TME In words, this equations says that the initial amount of total mechanical energy (TMEi) of a system is altered by the work which is done to it by non-conservative forces (Wnc). The final amount of total mechanical energy (TMEf) possessed by the system is equivalent to the initial amount of energy (TMEi) plus the work done by these non-conservative forces (Wnc).”

I will say, I truly enjoyed studying and my introduction into the world of physics.

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