What is Energy, Types, Uses, History, Overview of Energy

What is Energy

The word energy has been derived from Greek word energia, which refers to operation or movement. However physics associate with the attributes of objects that come under the Law of Conservation. Energy is however not an invention of science it is a natural phenomenon. Therefore the credit of development and discovery of the presence of energy in various forms goes to scientist.

History of Energy

The history of energy is centuries old when Aristotle for the first time introduced in his book Nicomachean Ethic’s energy in 4th B.C. after that in 1021 AD another Muslim scientist Alhazen introduced the concept of light and energy in his book the Book of Optics. Then the research and development in the field of physics brought many important names to the cover including Al-Khizini (who introduced the concept of gravitational energy), Leibniz, Isaac Newton, William Rankie, Thomas Young (he was the first scientist who used word energy besides Vis viva) and Richard Feynman (Nobel Laureate). All these scientist analyzed energy in its various forms. It is due to their efforts and hard work that we know energy in its present form.

History of Energy
                                        Fig: History of Energy

Forms of Energy, Types of Energy, Kinds of Energy and Uses

There are many forms, types and sub categories of energy but few basic types are kinetic energy, potential energy, gravitational energy, thermal energy, elastic energy, electromagnetic energy, mechanical energy, light energy and sound energy. Let us review all of these energy forms briefly. Potential energy is when a particular object is reverted back to its original position with some kind of force. For example the stretching of a spring. When any object or body is in the form of motion, the extra energy that it possesses is known as kinetic energy. The energy present in the earth which holds the objects on ground is called gravitational energy. Thermal energy is produced when microscopic particles come to motion in any media like gas and plasma. The elastic energy is released by the elastic deformation in solid or liquid. Electromagnetic energy is the combination of electric and magnetic field. This kind of energy is produced when electromagnetic waves move in the vacuum. Energy is present everywhere we move. It is present in our body which we consume when a chemical reaction takes place in our body. It can be derived from the sun in the form of solar rays. The energy can be transformed from one form to another easily.

History of Energy Sources
                 History of Energy Sources

Transformation of energy (conversion of energy, change of energy)

One form of energy can be transformed from one form to another by using any device or exerting force. Energy however can not be created or destroyed by any process; this is what Law of Conversations of energy holds. However the transformation of energy to various other forms is possible. For example thermal energy is converted into mechanical energy by using steam turbines and it can also be converted to chemical energy using blast furnace. Mechanical energy is also transformed into various forms like in thermal energy using brakes, into electric energy making use of dynamo and into nuclear energy and into nuclear energy by particle acceleration. Energy can be derived from many sources like from natural minerals like coal, gas, oil, uranium and from various chemical reactions. It can be directly transformed form one form to another purposefully like in the case of electricity (when electromagnetic radiation is transferred to electric energy using solar cells). Moreover unintentionally we transform energy from one form to another. for example when a chemical reaction takes place in our body it gives us chemical energy which is converted to mechanical energy by the movement of muscles. There are innumerable examples of energy transfer and transformation in the world. The use of objects like batteries and dams has facilitated this conversion.

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