Energy

In physics, energy is the quantitative property that is transferred to a body or to a physical system, recognizable in the performance of work and in the form of heat and light. Energy is a conserved quantity; the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be converted in form, but not created or destroyed. The unit of measurement in the International System of Units (SI) of energy is the joule, which is the energy transferred to an object by the work of moving it a distance of one metre against a force of one newton.

Energy
A plasma lamp, using electrical energy to create plasma light, heat, movement and a faint sound
Common symbols
E
SI unitjoule
Other units
kW⋅h, BTU, calorie, eV, erg, foot-pound
In SI base unitsJ = kg m2 s−2
Extensive?yes
Conserved?yes
DimensionM L2 T−2

Common forms of energy include the kinetic energy of a moving object, the potential energy stored by an object's position in a force field (gravitational, electric or magnetic), the elastic energy stored by stretching solid objects, the chemical energy released when a fuel burns, the radiant energy carried by light, and the thermal energy due to an object's temperature.

Mass and energy are closely related. Due to mass–energy equivalence, any object that has mass when stationary (called rest mass) also has an equivalent amount of energy whose form is called rest energy, and any additional energy (of any form) acquired by the object above that rest energy will increase the object's total mass just as it increases its total energy. For example, after heating an object, its increase in energy could in principle be measured as a small increase in mass, with a sensitive enough scale.

Living organisms require energy to stay alive, such as the energy humans get from food. Human civilization requires energy to function, which it gets from energy resources such as fossil fuels, nuclear fuel, or renewable energy. The processes of Earth's climate and ecosystem are driven by the radiant energy Earth receives from the Sun and the geothermal energy contained within the earth.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Energy, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.