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Physical Science, 5/e
Bill Tillery, Arizona State University


Chapter 4 Overview

The term energy is closely associated with the concepts of force and motion. Naturally moving matter, such as the wind or moving water, exerts forces. You have felt these forces if you have ever tried to walk against a strong wind or stand in one place in a stream of rapidly moving water. The motion and forces of moving air and moving water are used as energy sources (Figure 4.1). The wind is an energy source as it moves the blades of a windmill performing useful work. Moving water is an energy source as it forces the blades of a water turbine to spin, turning an electric generator. Thus, moving matter exerts a force, on objects in its path, and objects moved by the force can also be used as an energy source.

Matter does not have to be moving to supply energy; matter contains energy. Food supplied the energy for the muscular exertion of the humans and animals that accomplished most of the work before this century. Today, machines do the work that was formerly accomplished by muscular exertion. Machines also use the energy contained in matter. They use gasoline, for example, as they supply the forces and motion to accomplish work.

Moving matter and matter that contains energy can be used as energy sources to perform work. The concepts of work and energy and the relationship to matter are the topics of this chapter. You will learn how energy flows in and out of your surroundings as well as a broad, conceptual view of energy that will be developed more fully throughout the course.