Matter and Energy
Return to the Energy Page.
Matter is basically
anything that takes up space. Anything in the universe
that occupies space and has mass, is also composed of matter. The amount of force that is required to give an object some movement, or the resistance of that object, is a measure of its mass.
Energy is the capacity of doing work; where work is the process of moving some matter against another opposing force. Many forms of energy include:
electricity, and light.
The Law of Conservation of Matter and Energy says that matter cannot be created nor destroyed. The total quantity of matter and energy that is in the universe is constant.
Scientists recognize mainly two forms of energy;
Potential energy is basically matter that has the potential to do work. An example would be, water on top of a waterfall,
it has potential energy because it is bound to fall down; or another example
would be holding a book in the air, it has the potential to also fall down.
Kinetic energy is basically matter that is in motion or doing work. An
example would be, water actually falling down in the waterfall from the
top; or another example would be, the book actually falling through the
air. Below is a pendulum demonstrating the increases and decreases of
potential and kinetic energy.