You currently have JavaScript disabled on this browser/device. JavaScript must be enabled in order for this website to function properly.

ZingPath: Work and Energy

Defining Energy

Searching for

Work and Energy

Learn in a way your textbook can't show you.
Explore the full path to learning Work and Energy

Lesson Focus

Defining Energy

Physical Science

Learning Made Easy

You will get to learn the definition of energy and observe real-life examples of energy conversions. Then explore the interaction between force and displacement.

Over 1,200 Lessons: Get a Free Trial | Enroll Today

Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define energy in different forms.
  • Make connection between real life examples and energy forms.
  • Define work.
  • Identify the relationship between work and energy.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Why is it insufficient to define energy only as "the capacity to do work"?

~ Sometimes it is difficult to see work being done, such as in mechanical events where a force causes an object to move a certain distance, or in energy conversions. However, it is easier to see a change taking place. Therefore, it is better to define energy as the capacity to cause a change.

Describe the change taking place in each of the following situations in terms of energy:

a) a heater turned on to heat a room

~ When a heater is turned on, the temperature in the room increases. Electrical energy is converted to thermal energy.

b) a lamp on a desk turned on to do homework

~ When a lamp is turned on, it shines light on the work area. Electrical energy is converted to light energy.

c) a plant placed in a sunny corner of a room

~ When a plant stays in the sunny corner of a room for a while, the plant grows. Light energy from the sun is converted into chemical energy.

d) a battery-powered radio turned on in the kitchen

~ When a radio is turned on, chemical energy is converted to electrical energy. Additionally, electrical energy is then converted to sound energy.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 2 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be able to define the following terms: conversion of energy, energy, and work.
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Animation
Key Vocabulary conversion of energy, energy, work