Energy is the ability to make things happen, cause changes and carry out work. Any change anywhere in the Universe, from a tiny meteorite hitting a planet to an exploding star, means that energy is at work. In daily life, energy is all around us in many different forms. Light and sound energy travel through the air as waves. Heat is a form known as thermal energy. Movement or motion is, too, and is called kinetic energy. Objects even have energy because of their place or position. This is called potential energy. A boulder on a hilltop has potential energy because gravity tries to pull it down. As the boulder begins to roll its potential energy changes into kinetic energy.

Energy can cause changes and it can change itself. It can convert between one form and another. The boulder rolls down the hill, converting some of its potential energy to kinetic energy. Water also flows downhill with kinetic energy. We can harness this kinetic energy in a hydro-electric power station and convert it into electrical energy, yet another form of energy. Electricity is very useful in our modern world. It can be transported long distances along wires. It can be converted to other forms of energy, like light from a light bulb, heat in an electric kettle and sound from a loudspeaker.

Matter contains chemical energy, in the links or bonds between atoms. The bonds need energy to form and they release this energy when they are broken. We make use of chemical energy in fuels such as petrol. The bonds break as the fuel burns and releases heat.

Energy from the Sun bathes our world. It is in two main forms, light and heat. It takes more than 8 minutes to travel nearly 150 million kilometres through space to Earth.

Energy is all around, present in different forms and changing from one form to another. Without energy our world would be completely dark, cold, still and silent.

The human body needs energy to drive its life processes like heartbeat, breathing and movement. The energy is present in chemical form as the nutrients in our food. We digest the food to obtain the energy and store it as body starches and sugars.

Chemical energy in the body in the form of blood sugar is taken to muscles. The muscles convert it into the energy of motion so we can move about.

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