In this unit, we will be studying energy – the ability to do work. Energy can exist in many forms such as light, sound, heat, and electricity. We will be exploring these different forms of energy and learning more about them.
Energy is the ability to do work and can exist as either kinetic energy or potential energy. Energy can take a variety of forms such as sound, light, heat, motion, magnetism, or electricity. The energy that is present in our universe is constantly being used, changing forms, and moving around Earth and throughout the universe.
In lesson 2, we will explore sound energy – the movement of energy through vibrations in the form of waves. Because they travel by vibrations, sound waves must have a medium to travel through. We will look at the different characteristics of a sound wave such as wavelength, frequency, and amplitude and see how these properties affect how we hear sounds.
Light energy is a form of energy that we can see, made up of waves of electromagnetic energy. Light travels in a straight line at the incredible speed of 186,000 miles per second. We observe what happens to light waves when they strike another object or material; and we will explore the concepts of reflection, refraction, and absorption.
Heat is the transfer of thermal energy – a form of energy that comes from the movement of the molecules that make up an object or substance. All matter in the universe has some amount of thermal energy. The higher an object’s temperature, the more thermal energy it has. Heat can transfer from warmer to cooler objects by conduction, convection, and radiation.
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