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Four Source of Energy: Chemical, Solar, Mechanical, and Nuclear

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Four Source of Energy: Chemical, Solar, Mechanical, and Nuclear

Energy is used in every aspect of our lives, from power for transportation, to heat and light in dwelling and working areas, to the manufacture of good of all kinds. The development of science and civilization is closely linked to the availability and development of energy in useful forms. In this paper I am going to show four extremely vital forms of energy that we humans use everyday, and without which we could not enjoy the luxuries of life; like watching T.V., playing on the computer, and tracking the weather.

The first type of vitally important energy is Chemical. It utilizes the energy release from chemical reaction. The energy is both release and absorbed by the elements involve in a chemical reaction, but no lose occur in the molecular weight of the elements. Even thought this is true, the physical properties may change. Take for instance, the decomposition of water. In its molecules, each of which consist of one atom of oxygen and two of hydrogen, are broken down; the hydrogen atoms combine in pairs, and the oxygen atoms form oxygen molecules. The two new molecules now have two different properties from the water molecules they came from. Water, for example, does not burn nor does it support combustions, but the new hydrogen molecule is now flammable and the oxygen is combustion supportive, both of which can be used to obtain useful forms of energy.

The reactions, just like the one mentioned above, can be classified by the characteristics of the particular reaction. As anyone could observe we, the people of this world have many different forms of reactions to obtain the energy we desire. This chemical energy is pretty the base of all other forms of energy, or at least a big part of them.

We can use the reaction from nuclear fusion or fission to obtain energy. We can use the steam from water to get energy. There are ways in which use the elements and the properties of their reaction to obtain energy.

A type of energy that work is another form of chemical energy, but deserves its own individual respect, is the above-mentioned nuclear energy. With the development of nuclear energy in the early 20th century came available another incredibly great source of energy.

It uses the heat from the nuclear energy and converts it into electricity. The nuclear is stored in the nucleus of an atom and is released though fission, fusion, or radioactivity. In these processes a small amount of mass is converted to energy according to the relationship E= mc^2, where E is energy, m is mass, and c is the speed of light. The late physicist Albert Einstein discovered this relationship between energy and mass.

In this case the thermo energy, from the nuclear reaction, is the key to deriving the electrical energy needed. The heat from the nuclear reactor, the thing which prevent the reaction from becoming a chain reaction, can be used to produce steam. The steam can then be directed through a turbine to drive an electric generator. Hence, we have electrical energy.

By the 1990's about 21%o of the energy consumed in the U.S. was derived from nuclear reactors; however, the construction and application of nuclear reactors has been slowed by the controversy over the dangers of a nuclear melt down. This form of energy has shown itself to be extremely dangerous.

A form of energy that is safer than nuclear energy is solar energy. Solar energy is any form of energy radiated by the sun, including all the forms of light; visible light, radio waves, and X rays.

It is transmitted to the earth through space in quanta of energy called photons, which interact with the earth's atmosphere and surface. The intensity is not constant, however; it appears to vary by about 0.2 percent in 30 years. The intensity of energy actually available at the earth's surface is less than the solar constant because of absorption and scattering of radiant energy as photons interact with the atmosphere.




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