Energy: An Introduction

por Anthony Carpi, Ph.D., Zachary Hartman, Ph.D.

Figure 1: Ancient Greek philosophers thought that all matter and processes could be described in terms of combinations of four elements: earth, air, water, and fire.
Sir Isaac Newton

Punto de Comprensión

__________ energy has to do with the motion of molecules, while __________ energy has to do with the flow of electrons.

James Joule
Figure 3: James Joule
Figure 4: Michael Faraday

Punto de Comprensión

Which scientist was the first to definitively show that mechanical energy could be converted into thermal energy?

Punto de Comprensión

To measure chemical energy in a block of wood, it is most common to


The concept of energy has fascinated scientists and philosophers for thousands of years. This module describes early ideas about energy and traces the development of our modern understanding of energy through the work of Joule and Faraday. Potential and kinetic energy are distinguished, and the six main forms of energy are described. The module highlights energy conversion and discusses how energy is measured.

Conceptos Clave

  • Energy is defined as the capacity to perform work.

  • Energy comes in many forms, such as mechanical, chemical, heat, etc. and all are interchangeable to some extent.

  • James Joule was instrumental in establishing the concept of interchangeability of different forms of energy and quantitatively measured those changes in certain systems.

  • NGSS
  • HS-C5.3, HS-PS3.A1
  • Referencias
  • Newton, Isaac. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”). London, 1687; Cambridge, 1713; London, 1726.

Anthony Carpi, Ph.D., Zachary Hartman, Ph.D. “Energy” Visionlearning Vol. PHY-1 (6), 2014.