Energy Transferred by Working
Energy and Thermal Physics

A wide range of stores

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Not just fuels

Wrong Track: Things like petrol and coal are the main energy stores because you can burn them.

Wrong Track: How can a bag of sand on the roof be an energy store? You can't set fire to it or anything. It just sits there!

Right Lines: There are a wide range of energy stores if you look carefully enough.

Finding other energy stores

Thinking about the teaching

Many of the things we think of as fuels are things that get burnt, or at least oxidised. This is a good starting point but needs to be extended. This involves getting pupils to see that other things can act as an energy store.

  • A camping gas cylinder, together with a supply of oxygen, is a store that gets run down when we use it to cook our evening meal.
  • A stretched rubber band can be seen as a store, able to be emptied by allowing it to relax.
  • A supply of water held high up behind a dam is a store, able to drive a turbine when it runs downhill.
Energy Transferred by Working
appears in the relation dU=dQ+dW
is used in analyses relating to Working Engines Thermionic Emission
is a special case of Work
has the special case Potential Energy Kinetic Energy
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