What is Kinetic Energy?
Kinetic energy is known as the energy in motion. It enables an object to do work in a scientific sense. Applying a force to an object across a distance is an example of work or energy in motion. Pushing your mouse on your computer table means you are applying kinetic energy. There are different kinds of energy and in this article, you will learn about the four kinds of kinetic energy – mechanical, electrical, radiant and sound.
Mechanical energy is the most common and familiar model of kinetic energy. Moving objects posses kinetic energy. The simple movement of your keyboard drawer takes a joule of work. Joules is used to measure kinetic energy. It is also known as Newton-meters. Newton is used in measuring force and meter is used in determining distance. One good example is a car moving at a certain speed and distance.
Electrical energy is also energy in motion. The electrical energy that travels through wires is measured using the watt unit. Watt is named after its discoverer, James Watt. Watt is also the inventor of the steam engine used by the early trains. If you do a joule of work in a span of a second, it is called a watt. As for example, lift your computer mouse vertically for about a meter in just a second.
This action uses a power of a watt and that is kinetic energy. Usually, electrical energy is rated in kilowatt, an equivalent of a thousand watt. In electrical motors, you will also see rating of kilowatt. When it comes to electrical current, the unit used is amps or amperes. Volt is used to measure potential energy of electricity.
Radiant energy is also known as solar energy and this is another kind of kinetic energy. Everyone is familiar with the sun. The heat, light and radiant that the sun gives off is called the solar energy. So what creates the sun’s energy? When atoms of helium are formed from the lighter hydrogen atoms, it creates heat, light and other particles. This is what provides energy to the sun and it is called nuclear fusion.
Light is a good example of radiant energy because light also moves it is considered as energy in motion. Light is emitted by accelerating electrical charges and it moves in particles or the so-called photons. Waves used in radios are also examples of radiant energy. Waves are measure in hertz, which is named after Heinrick Hertz.
Heat energy is also a type of radiant energy. The best example of heat energy is the heat waves you see on a paved road during hot summer days. This can also be seen on galvanized roof on most tropical countries.
Acoustic energy is the same as the sound energy. Sound is created through vibration of an object. Take for example a guitar, to produce a sound you have to strum the strings. The strings produce sound through vibrations. This is the same as how humans produce the sound of their voices. Through the vocal chords in our voice box, as air passes through it, vibrations occur thus producing the voice.