Skip to main content

Types of Energy

Ngā Whāinga Ako

Types of Energy

For each of these types of energy, think of and write down one tauria:

  1. Heat
  2. Magnetic
  3. Radiant

  1. Sound
  2. Nuclear
  3. Gravitational

  1. Kinetic
  2. Chemical
  3. Elastic
  4. Electrical

Active vs. Potential Energy

We split these 10 types of energy into two broad categories.


Active Energy

Energy that is actually doing something that can be observed and measured.

Potential Energy

Energy that is stored some way

Active Energy Tauria

Kinetic, sound, radiant, heat and electrical


Potential Energy Tauria

Gravitational, nuclear, chemical, elastic and magnetic


Match these types of energy and their definitions up in your book:

ThermalLightLight Bulbs, a Bunsen flametalking, TV, radio
GravitationalKinetichot water, a hot radiatorNuclear bombs, power stations
NuclearSoundAnything that is movingFood, batteries, burning things
ElasticElectricalbook on a shelf, bungee jumpera wind-up-toy, rubber band

Conservation of Energy

The Law of Energy Conservation is true throughout the universe, from the biggest to the smallest, and we have not yet found an exception.

\begin{aligned} & \text{Energy in} = \text{Energy out} \end{aligned}

This means that we can state the law like this:

Energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one type to another.


Think of a skydiver falling to Earth.

  1. What kind of energy do they have before they jump out of the plane? Active or potential?
  2. What about after they start falling?

They have gravitational potential energy, and all of it gets transformed to kinetic energy because they start to move!


What energy transformations are happening at the boxes?

  1. Chemical potential energy in the battery is transformed into electrical energy moving along the earphones wire
  2. Electrical energy in the wire causes the earphone unit to move transforming it into sound energy