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Science

Heat transfer and efficiency

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Appliances transfer energy but not all the energy is transferred in useful ways. The choice of appliance is influenced by their efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Forms of energy

You should be able to recognise the main types of energy. One way to remember the different types of energy is to learn this sentence:

Most Kids Hate Learning GCSE Energy Names.

Each capital letter is the first letter in the name of a type of energy:

  • magnetic
  • kinetic (movement energy)
  • heat (thermal energy)
  • light
  • gravitational potential
  • chemical
  • sound
  • electrical
  • elastic potential
  • nuclear.

Types of energy explained

Type of energyDescription

magnetic

Magnet

energy in magnets and electromagnets

kinetic

A bullet cutting a playing card

the energy in moving objects – also called movement energy

heat

Burning match

also called thermal energy

light

Sunlight

also called radiant energy

gravitational potential

sky divers in freefall under gravity

Sky divers

stored energy in raised objects

chemical

Organic food

stored energy in fuel, foods and batteries

sound

Guitar

energy released by vibrating objects

electrical

Lightning

energy in moving charges or static electric charges

elastic potential

catapult stores elastic energy

Catapult

stored energy in stretched or squashed objects

nuclear

Nuclear fuel assembly

stored in the nuclei of atoms

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