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Types of potential energy

Types of potential energy

The concept of potential energy refers to the energy stored in an object due to its position in a force field. It may also be due to the configuration of its parts.

Mechanical energy is the sum the this energy and the kinetic energy of a body.

Due to its nature, this energy can be transformed into another type of energy.

Potential energy includes many types of energy. For instance: spring elastic, electrical, electrostatic, and chemical. We explain them in more detail below.

Gravitational potential energy

This kind of energy is that an object gains by the gravitational field of another object. They are generally very large bodies such as Earth.


Last review: June 12, 2020

What is an electron? Mass, charge and characteristics

What is an electron? Mass, charge and characteristics

An electron is a negatively charged stable elementary charge. Along with neutrons and protons, it is one of the three sub-particles that make up an atom. For this reason, it can also be defined as a subatomic particle that belongs to the group of leptons.

They can appear in a free state (without being attached to any atom) or attached to the nucleus of an atom using chemical bonding.

The Penning trap is often used to make precise measurements of this type of particle.

Electrons exist in atoms in spherical shells of various radius. These spherical layers represent energy levels. The larger the spherical shell, the greater…

Last review: June 11, 2020

What is an atom?

What is an atom?

The atom is a structure in which matter is organized in the physical world or in nature. Its structure is made up of different combinations of three sub-particles: neutrons, protons, and electrons. Molecules are made up of atoms grouped by chemical bonds.

It is the smallest unit of matter of which an element can be constituted.

This is an example in order to understand this concept better: We have a piece of iron which we split. We still have two smaller pieces of iron. Afterward, we keep splitting those pieces... We will have more and more smaller pieces.

There will come a time when we will only have a piece so small that it can no longer be broken. If we could break…

Last review: June 10, 2020

Electric energy

Electric energy

Electric energy is the movement of electrons. It can also be called electricity. We define electricity as the form of energy that results from the existence of a potential difference between two points.

When these two points are brought into contact by an electrical conductor like a copper wire, we obtain an electric current.

Electricity has many technical applications. Many of the phenomena related to electricity can be measured and calculated with great precision.

Characteristics of electric energy

Typically, these negative electrical charges (electrons) move through the electrical conductor. Normally…

Last review: June 9, 2020

Heat energy. Definition and examples

Heat energy. Definition and examples

Heat energy is the manifestation of energy in the form of heat. In all materials, the atoms that make up their molecules are in continuous movement, either moving or vibrating. It is also called thermal energy.

This movement of the particles implies that the atoms and molecules have a certain kinetic energy that we call heat, thermal energy, or heat energy. In a way, heat energy is the internal energy of a body. If kinetic energy increases the particles move faster.

The internal energy of a thermodynamic system can be changed in two ways: by doing work on the system and by exchanging heat with the environment. The energy that the body receives or loses in the process of heat…

Last review: May 16, 2020

What is radioactivity? Definition of nuclear decay

What is radioactivity? Definition of nuclear decay

Radioactivity is the spontaneous emission of particles or radiation, or both at the same time. These particles and radiation come from the decay of certain nuclides that form them. They disintegrate due to a fix in their internal structure.

The particles can be alpha, beta, or neutron. Radiations can be gamma and capture K.

Radioactive decay occurs in unstable atomic nuclei. That is, those that do not have enough binding energy to hold the nucleus together.

The decaying nucleus is called the parent. The process produces at least one daughter nuclide.

The decay is a nuclear transmutation resulting in a daughter containing a different number of protons or neutrons…

Last review: May 15, 2020

Types of energy and examples

Types of energy and examples

There are different ways to classify different types of energy. The main types are as follows:

  • Nuclear energy. It is obtained from the energy contained within the nuclei of the atoms.
  • Mechanical energy. It includes two types of energy: potential and kinetic. It depends on the position and speed of a body.
  • Thermodynamics. This type refers to the internal energy of a thermodynamic system.
  • Electromagnetic.
  • Electric power. Related to the movement of electrons in a conductor.
  • Magnetic. Magnetic energy is the energy that is generated in a magnetic field.
  • Sonora. Sound energy is related to sound and its propagation by waves.
  • Last review: May 14, 2020

Chernobyl, what happened in the nuclear accident?

Chernobyl, what happened in the nuclear accident?

The Chernobyl nuclear accident (1986) is by far the worst nuclear accident in history. Level 7 of the INES scale, the highest value (serious nuclear accident). Although it is the same level at which the Fukushima nuclear accident was classified, the consequences of the Chernobyl accident were still much worse.

The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is located next to the city of Pripyat, 18km from the city of Chernobyl; in northern Ukraine.

On September 9, 1982, a partial meltdown of the base occurred in reactor # 1 at the plant. Although due to the secrecy of the Soviet Union, the international community was not informed until 1985. It was repaired and continued to function.

Last review: May 12, 2020

How does a nuclear power plant work?

How does a nuclear power plant work?

The operation of a nuclear power plant is similar to that of any other thermal power plant. A nuclear power plant is a type of thermal power plant. Its function is to generate electrical energy.

There are several types of exchanges, but at the base they work the same:

  • Generate nuclear reactions. Thermal energy is obtained.
  • Generate water vapor with thermal energy.
  • Activate a steam turbine. Mechanical energy (kinetic energy) is obtained.
  • Actuate an electric generator. Electricity is obtained.
  • A nuclear power plant is a facility in which the entire process is carried out. The most important difference with other thermal power plants…

    Last review: May 11, 2020

    Cofrentes nuclear power plant, Spain

    Cofrentes nuclear power plant, Spain

    The Cofrentes nuclear power plant became operational on October 14, 1984.

    It is a nuclear power plant with a BWR-6-Boiling Water Reactor (6th generation boiling water reactor) that initially had an installed capacity of 992 MWe but after certain improvements it was possible to expand the power at 111.85% today, equivalent to 1,110 MWe.

    The Cofrentes nuclear power plant , owned by Iberdrola Generación Nuclear SA

    At present, it deals with the nuclear installation with the highest electrical power capacity in…

    Last review: April 7, 2020

    Nautilus nuclear submarine

    Nautilus nuclear submarine

    The Nautilus is the world's first nuclear submarine.

    It was built in 1954, in Groton, Connecticut State, on the east coast of the USA. Thanks to the use of nuclear energy, all the technological records of the submarines to date were achieved.

    It had a higher speed and did not need to rise to the surface as often. It was the first submarine to reach the North Pole, in 1958. In 1980 it became a Museum.

    Until now, submarines have generated electrical energy using diesel engines. This energy could be stored in batteries and then used to power the electric motors  once submerged. Since diesel engines need oxygen to fuel combustion, it forced submarines to periodically…

    Last review: April 6, 2020