The law of conservation of energy is one of the many laws of physics. The law of conservation of energy states that the amount of energy in a system will stay constant throughout time. Therefore this law is stating that no matter how much time goes by, the amount of energy in a certain state of matter will remain the same, hence conserved, no matter how much time has passed. Therefore, physicists have concluded that energy cannot be destroyed. Energy may be able to transform into something different, for instance chemical energy can become kinetic energy however, nothing can destroy the energy.
Kinetic and chemical energy are just a couple forms of energy, there are actually many other forms of energy. Other forms of energy are some of the following:Potential Energy
: energy of location with a reference point.Electrical Energy
: energy that has been created by different charges. Thermal Energy
: Energy that is given off by heat.
All of these forms of energy will remain constant or conserved, which is sometimes referred to as the fundamental law of thermodynamics. The fundamental law of thermodynamics sates that the energy of the universe is fixed and can not be created or destroyed, and instead energy is converted from one thing to another. Therefore, as I stated earlier, these energy forms may be able to transform into other forms of energy, but they will not be able to destroyed.
For instance when looking at potential energy you can convert the gravitational potential energy and convert it into kinetic energy. Many physics teachers will demonstrate the conversion of potential energy to kinetic by dropping something like a ball or silly putty and demonstrating how it converts it's energy. Essentially, the amount of gravitational potential energy that is concentrated in an object will therefore determine how far it will fall. So, therefore when the silly putty falls the gravitational potential energy that it once had is therefore converted into kinetic energy of motion. This demonstration backs up exactly what the law of conservation of energy states, that energy cannot be destroyed.
There are other examples of energy being converted into other forms of energy as well. For example, when discussing solar panels it is clear that the solar panels need light energy to work. Therefore the solar panels will soak up the light energy and it will be converted into electricity. Plants will take light energy and they will use it and turn it into chemical energy so they can form their food. Coal goes through several different phases from the chemical energy that is found and stored in coal and then when heat and light energy is released from coal when it is burned. Coal can also produce steam and coal will change into mechanical energy when it is used in a generator.
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