What is energy and its types in very simple and easy words

What is energy and its types

Do you know what is energy in science? If you don't know, check out this article.

The concept of energy is an essential component of nature and the universe that we hear many times in our school life and daily life. Let's examine this concept and its types together.

What are Energy and its types?

Energy Definition

We often define energy is as "the ability to do work". So, this definition is quite lacking. Because it exists in many forms such as mechanical, electrical, heat and magnetic and never disappears. (First law of thermodynamics) We can define energy as follows; It is the general name of all forms used or transformed in mechanical, heat, light, electricity, nuclear and magnetic types in all physical and chemical events that occur in nature and the universe.

What is Enthalpy and Internal Energy?

Internal Energy

The energy that associate with molecular mobility in the molecular structure of a system is microscopic energy. The sum of all microscopic forms of energy is internal energy, and its unit is Joule and we denote it by U.

Internal energy is the sum of kinetic and potential energies of the system molecules. The part related to the kinetic energy of the molecules of the system is sensible energy or sensible heat. The kinetic energy of the molecules varies in direct proportion to the temperature. In other words, the higher the temperature of the system, the internal energies of the molecules will increase because of their kinetic energy.

As we know it, solid, liquid, and gases transform into each other by changing phases. If you heat a solid enough, it melts into a liquid and if you heat the liquid; it evaporates and turns into a gas.  In all these phase changes, the internal energy of the system is latent energy or latent heat.


when we add the pressure and volume of the fluid to the internal energy, we get enthalpy.

So, enthalpy and internal energy both are basic types of energy

Types of energy

We know that energy never disappears according to the first law of thermodynamics, it only changes shape. Therefore, energy has many forms. In the above segment, we discussed what is energy. Now we will discuss unique forms of energy.

  1. Mechanical Energy
  2. Kinetic energy
  3. Potential energy
  4. Heat (thermal) Energy
  5. Chemical Energy
  6. Nuclear energy
  7. Electric Energy
  8. Electromagnetic Radiation Energy

Energy is constantly transforming in nature, naturally or artificially. For example, electricity generation with wind energy is provided by converting wind kinetic energy into mechanical energy on the turbine and generating electricity with an electric motor.

Mechanical Energy

We can define mechanical energy as the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy of a system. So, it is not correct to define mechanical energy as kinetic or potential energy.

In short, if a system has both kinetic and potential energy, then there is kinetic energy in the system.

Kinetic Energy

The energy that we see the most in nature is the kinetic energy. So if an object is in motion, it has kinetic energy.

Kinetic energy is half of the product of the velocity of the body and its mass, expressed by the formula below.

                                          KE = ½ m V2 (J)

Kinetic Energy Examples

  1. Every moving object and creature has kinetic energy.
  2. Means of transport have a certain kinetic energy.
  3. Combat devices such as bullets and arrows are also lethal because of their high kinetic energy.

Potential Energy

The potential energy associated with kinetic energy is the energy of an object because of its height.

Potential energy depends on the weight of the object, gravitational acceleration, and the height at which the object comes out. The formula expresses it below.

                                                PE: m.g.h (J)

Potential Energy Examples

  1. A stone standing at a certain height has potential energy.
  2. In hydroelectric power plants, electricity is produced using the potential difference of water.
  3. Energy stored in spring systems is also potential energy.
  4. It works according to the potential energies of the fluids it contains in hydraulic pneumatic systems.
  5. Rolling costs used in amusement parks also work according to the transformation of potential and kinetic energy.

Heat (Thermal) Energy

There is nowhere in nature where there is no heat energy. Processes such as burning or changing phases because of increasing the temperature of a substance are heat energy. Many people ask about what is energy, I think after reading this article they will understand the concept of energy and its types.

Heat Energy Examples

  1. The energy released because of the combustion of fuel in steam cycle power plants.
  2. The heat generated by the cellular activities of our body.
  3. Heating food and beverages.
  4. Solar water heating.

Chemical Energy

Chemical energy is the energy process that releases because of the reaction of substances with each other.

Chemical Energy Examples

  1. Events such as burning and decay
  2. Plants store solar energy
  3. Biogas systems
  4. Biodiesel production
  5. Burning fossil fuels

Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy is the energy released because of the fission of atoms of materials (Fission) or fusion (Fusion).

Nuclear Energy Examples

  1. The energy released by the nucleus of uranium in nuclear power plant systems.
  2. X-ray and X-Ray devices.
  3. Spacecraft.

Electrical Energy

It is the energy released by the interaction of protons and electrons of matter. We get this energy through the transformation of forms such as mechanical, heat, nuclear, and chemical energy.

Electromagnetic Energy

It is an energy that can be found in many forms, such as radio waves, microwaves, X-rays, and gamma rays. Sunlight is also electromagnetic energy, but the light we see is a minor part of a spectrum that contains a wide range of electromagnetic wavelengths.


  1. Electromagnetic Energy Emitting Devices
  2. Medical devices such as chemotherapy used in the health sector
  3. Television, mobile phone, and computer screens
  4. Energy transmission distribution lines and transformers
  5. GSM, radio, television and wireless base station antennas
  6. Satellite and radar systems.

With the help of this article, you will understand what is energy and how many types it has.

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