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Power And Energy – There Is A Difference?

1254 words - 5 pages

One Wednesday night in physic class, my professor made the statement that “power and energy is not the same thing”. This became an interesting topic for me not because I disagreed, but because I have been misusing the terms. You might have heard people use the terms "power" and "energy" almost duplicate, that's only because they don't understand the facts about what these things really are.
Power and Energy – There is a difference. What is the difference? In this paper, I want to explain that in the world of physics power and energy do go hand in hand, but they're not the same thing. There is a difference, and there is an easy explanation.
What is Energy?
Energy is defined as effort; capacity for performing work; the resources for producing such power (Merriam-Webster 1999). Authors (Kilpatrick and Francis, 2010) wrote that “energy is one of the most fundamental and far-reaching concepts in the physics world view “(p. 116). These authors also stated that it is not easy to give energy a precise definition. After long hours of researching and reading many definitions for energy. I liked the definition that Professor Whitlock gave in class, “energy is the ability to do work and work is the change in energy”. In a simpler term energy is the ability to change things.
We have often used the term energy freely. For example, you may have heard someone say eating a big meal gives you energy or that my three-year old has a lot of energy. Did you know that a bouncing ball, a gallon of gas, or a burning fire also have energy? I didn’t either until I fully understood the concept of energy. Since energy is the ability to change things, it can change the temperature, shape, speed, position, or direction of an object. For example, a soccer player uses energy to change the direction, speed, and position of a soccer ball by hitting it with their foot or with their head. Energy can change the temperature of a cup of water or change the shape of modeling clay. This is because energy appears in many forms and is often expressed in multiple units. Energy, according to the definition of physicists, can neither be created nor consumed or destroyed. Energy however, may be converted or transferred to different forms (Danish Wind Industry Association, August 2003). The units for energy, are kilograms multiplied by (meters per second) squared (kg x m/s). The standard unit of energy is the Joule (p. 118).
Two forms of Energy: Kinetic and Potential
Energy can take many useful forms, such as light, heat, and motion. The two types of energy that we discussed in class relate to motion and position is called kinetic energy and potential energy. The difference between potential and kinetic energy all comes down to a very simple property of the object. Kinetic energy is the energy of movement. If an object is moving it has kinetic energy. Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. It is...

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