Introduction

The Energy Story

  Energy Is Born
  Energy Types
  Energy Changes
  Energy Generation

The Energy Problem

  Conservation of Energy
  Aging of Energy
  Finite Resources
  The Oil "Crisis"
  Energy Pollution
  Discussion Topics

The Energy Solution

  Conserving Electricity
  Appliance Efficiency
  Heating Conservation
  Renewable Energy

Web Links

Teacher Guide

About the Author


Secret Lives Title - The Energy Story


agif - lighntning
The Ten Types
Electrical Energy

You probably know that atoms are composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The protons have a positive electrical charge, the electrons have a negative electrical charge, and the neutrons have no charge. Most of the mass of the atom is contained in the atom's nucleus where the protons and neutrons are. The electrons revolve in orbits or more likely exist as a cloud around the outside of the nucleus. The electrons are often able to escape from their atoms and move to other atoms. A flow of these mobile electrons is a source of electrical energy. This flow is called current and is measured in a unit called the ampere. The more electrons that are moving the greater the current. Electrical wiring systems like the one in your house are designed to handle a certain amount of current or amperes, and you can find many household appliances that are rated based on their current needs. Since electrical energy is based on the motion of electrons, it is a kinetic form of energy.
agif - electric current

Electrical energy is found in nature as lighting during thunderstorms and as static electricity when we rub our shoes on the rub and touch a metal doorknob. But electrical energy is not found alone as a source of energy in nature. Electricity, therefore, must be produced from some other energy source, such as fossil fuels or uranium. Electricity is used so extensively in our society because it is easy to transport over wires from where it is produced to homes and factories. But electricity must be used as soon as it is made since as a kinetic energy it cannot be stored.

A great majority of our household and industrial machines and appliances are run by electrical energy. Those appliances are basically ways of taking that electrical energy and turning it into another type of energy. More on this later. Just walk around your house and note every devise that is plugged into the electrical outlets or runs on batteries. Our civilization depends heavily on the use of electrical energy.

You can find more information on electrical energy from the sites below:

Electricity Basics