Lesson Plan #24 (15) Energy An intuitive introduction to the concept of energy as "anything that can cause a machine to turn
" and "the universal currency in which every physical process must be paid for." This topic stresses mechanical energy, potential and kinetic, and also describes conversion between types of energy (while conserving the total amount), units, and the special position of heat.
Goals: The student will learn about
The concept of energy, using a variety of examples and also the analogy between energy and money. The conservation of energy in its conversion from one form to another. Units of energy--Joule, calorie, also watt and kilowatt-hour. The special nature of heat, as the "soft currency" of the energy world.
Terms: Energy (potential, kinetic, conservation of), pendulum, joule, calorie, second law of thermodynamics. (kilojoule, kilocalories) Stories and extras: The energy content of a candy bar. And of TNT
Starting the lesson: Solicit answers; stop if someone says "what it takes to run a machine." If someone gives the formal definition "ability to do work" ask: "What then is work?" If the answer is "force times distance" say, that is correct; however, that definition will have to wait until the class has learned what a force is. We could redefine it as "overcoming resistance over a distance"--for instance, lifting a brick (against gravity) from the floor to the table, or dragging it along the floor (against friction), and then work equals resistance times distance. Any of these could also be done by a machine, so for a start we will simply say "energy is anything that can run a machine." Next question to the class:: what kinds of energy did you use today? --Electricity, if you used electric lights, or a radio, or TV --Light--that was what the electricity in the lightbulb was converted to
[The teacher may note that while the final speed is the same. For example: sliding down an inclined board like the one used by Galileo. Note to the teacher: a somewhat related discussion forms the opening of the lesson plan on sunlight. That energy becomes heat. You could also distribute to the students paper copies of the table from "Stargazers". Then go to the lesson. the final speed v is the same no matter how the object came down--sliding down a smooth inclined ramp. and that heat is what produces light. showing the conversion of energies. Does anyone ride a bicycle? (Maybe to school?). You can build up speed--that is kinetic energy--or you can climb up a hill--that is potential energy. The questions below may be used in the lesson. and heat causes light to come out. the chemical energy of your food is turned to motion. That discussion opens with the comment that almost all the energy we use comes from the Sun and students are asked to list types of energy together with the ways the Sun has provided them (e. or even a rollercoaster track. -. or afterwards. and that speed helps you get up the next hill (the same in a roller coaster). On a bike. because the Sun gets its energy by combining atomic nuclei of hydrogen to helium. Guiding questions and additional tidbits with suggested answers. the time taken to reach bottom isn't.When an object falls down from a height h meters.: growing the plant food we eat requires sunlight). yet the distance it must cover is
. you lose height as you gain speed. In an electric lightbulb. --Heat--if you cooked your food. deep inside it.g. or heated the house. A later part of the discussion tries to list the relatively few types of energy which do not come from the Sun. it gave you strength. --Nuclear energy--if you enjoyed sunlight. in meters per second? gh = v2/2 --What is interesting about this relation? In the absence of friction. still gives the same final speed. And you know you can trade one kind against the other: rolling down a hill. electricity makes a wire very hot.--Sound--that was what the electricity in the radio was converted to --Chemical energy--when you ate breakfast. the object gains speed much more slowly. through your muscles. what is the relation between h and its final velocity v.
as given by the above formula? Joules. because engineers giving the command for a final crucial rocket burn got their units confused. Whenever other units are given. A mass m (see next lesson) has weight mg. A note about units. For that reason we must multiply by mass m: E = mgh + (1/2)mv2 We have not yet defined mass. If inappropriate units are used. and lifting it a distance h performs work W = mgh --If m is in kilograms. so that the time required is much longer. In all our calculations involving Newtonian mechanics (unless explicitely stated otherwise) the so-called MKS units are used--distances in Meters. Later we will find a way of measuring mass that does not involve gravity. and all derived units based on these three.81 meter/sec2. g = 9.
--How does a pendulum or a swing demonstrate the conservation of total energy? --How does a roller-coaster demonstrate it? --What is work W? How much work is performed in lifting a mass m by a height h? Work is overcoming resistance over a distance--multiplying the resistance by distance." which we can measure by weighing. h in meters.Is something kept constant in this motion? Yes. In any calculation in physics. masses in Kilograms. the sum (gh +v2/2) -.longer. for the time it is understood to be "the amount of matter in motion. too. we must always pay close attention to the units we use.]
-. mistakes easily creep in. fulfilling "Murphy's law"--if anything can go wrong. it will. in what units is W. be sure to convert them to MKS! One spacecraft sent towards Mars was lost. In those units g = 9.
.Is this the energy? (No) Why? You expect a bigger moving body to have more energy--a rolling bowling ball more than a rolling marble. time in Seconds.81 and energy comes out in joules.
305 = 2. The chocolate contains 2 grams cocoa fat. also powers the many chemical reactions required by life.8 joule
--Into what form of energy did this work go? Into the potential energy of height.745 meters.856 . (1 ft=30. v = 7.5 cm = 0.1 kg. and 2 grams sugar. compared to the number you get from food. You weigh 150 pounds (1 pound = 0. --From what form of energy did it come? From the chemical energy of the food you ate. a carbohydrate with 4 calories per gram. v = 7.454 kg). for a total of 18 + 8 = 26 calories. But note (below) that you do not "burn many calories" by climbing one floor. so that piece of chocolate has given you the equivalent of 108.419 meters/hour = 16.868/1833.
.305 meter). you get 10. m = 150*0.680 joules. then W = mgh = 1833. With what speed v do you hit the ground? Your potential energy of 1833. providing 9 calories per gram (typical for fats).81 m/s2. If g = 9. Why? Food energy creates body warmth.3387 m/s.454 = 68. These are "kilocalories" of 4180 joule each. In miles-per hour (1 mile = 1609 meters). enough to climb 10.4 miles/hour.8 joule is converted to kinetic energy of (1/2)mv2 = 34. Energy is needed to convert the water we drink to vapor. How much work did you perform? h = 9*0.
--Even a hospital patient lying in bed all day needs to eat.8 or about 6 floors. Then v2 = 53.
--You jump down from the height of one floor. raising yourself by 9 feet.868 joules of usable work from that piece of candy.1.3387*3600 = 26.--You have climbed to the second floor. In addition.05 v2 . Suppose you have eaten one square of chocolate weighing 4 grams (1/8 of a bar weighing one ounce). the air we breathe out contains moisture (breathe onto a cool mirror to see it!). If your body can convert it to muscle power with an efficiency of 10% = 0.
] Limestone is heated over fire in a kiln. the motor can become a generator when turned from the outside. But we can absorb electric power generated this way. it is too complicated to return power to the public supply.In a rocket nozzle? Heat to kinetic energy. In a lightbulb. In practice. turning it to heat in a resistor. The conversion is never complete--heat can never be completely converted to mechanical energy--but the nozzle comes fairly close to the theoretical limit. oxygen and carbon dioxide. or seen the film? It is a true story of high school boys building and flying rockets. when the battery is charged.Can it be converted back to chemical energy? Yes. it creates heat. We will later see that the converging-diverging design of the rocket nozzle is very efficient in converting heat to kinetic energy. electricity is directly converted to light. and after they discovered the proper design of the nozzle. yes. which form is converted into which: -. -. The heat drives off the carbon dioxide and crumbles the
. and the heat creates light.In an electric fan? Electric to kinetic --In an elevator winch? Electric to potential. their rockets flew much higher. --In a car battery? Chemical to electric. --Can we convert it back when the elevator descends? In principle. -. --In a light emitting diode? Electricity to light.
quicklime? What happens there? [This question may not be meaningful enough to students living in a big city. --Why did we say "light emitting diode" and not "electric lightbulb"? In a diode. Has anyone here read "October Sky". and that way brake the motor.On the table of energy conversions. It is a compound of calcium.
use radioactive sources which generate heat. alcohol about 7 (Only in case the question comes up: sugar belongs to a family of compounds
. For making mortar. quicklime. What do kilowatt-hours measure? Energy: 1 kwh = 3. measured in watts. 1 kilowatt = 1000 watt. and thermocouples (special junctions of different metals) convert it to electricity. contaminating it with radioactivity and creating great resentment. (The example with a square of chocolate suggests this is about enough to let you climb one floor) --How about other foods? Proteins contain about 4 calories per gram. which holds more chemical energy. a "kilocalorie" has 4180 joule. Spacecraft that fly there.g. returning its chemical energy to heat. builders slake the quicklime with water. e. Around the outer planets. A "small" calorie contains 4. One crashed into a lake in Canada. -. How many calories does a gram of sugar contain? About 4 calories.
-.Your electric bill charges you a certain price per kilowatt-hour (kwh).How do spacecraft get their electric energy? Spacecraft near Earth use solar cells. sunlight is too dim to provide enough energy in this way.stone to calcium oxide. No such reactors are being flown any more. too (actually more. Fats have about 9 cal/gr..18 joule.000 joule. but a fraction of their energy is invested in breaking them up). It heats up. These are "kilocalories" of "large calories". One watt is 1 joule/second.
-. Voyagers 1-2 and Pioneers 10-11.600. --Food energy is measured in calories.How is mechanical power defined? What are its units? Power is the rate at which energy is supplied. The Russians experimented with small nuclear reactors on spacecraft. each containing 1000 "small" calories. that convert light to electricity--sort of the inverse effect of a light-emitting diode. and a gram of sugar--as in a piece of candy--has 16720 joule.
Seward. The current record is 43 minutes and a fraction.5 cal/gr.000 joule. almost all of it ends up as heat. to a height of about 900 meters. even if in the process it powers muscles. The reason is that TNT must already contain the oxygen with which it combines. but not by much. Dividing by 1 hour = 3600 sec gives a power output of 150 watt or 0. but their main role is in forming the complex chemicals of our bodies. how many horsepower must that person develop just to overcome gravity. However. such substances are poisonous. Q.00 joule
The extra person generates more heat. Fats are a different rearrangement of these atoms.known as carbohydrates. Approximating g = 10 m/s2 and one horsepower=750 watt (accurate value is 736).: Overcoming a force mg = 600 Newton over 900 meters requires 540. from the town to the top of Mt.640.) A. gasoline for instance has about 11. produced by plants which take apart carbon dioxide and water. nourishes the brain etc.) --Any materials contain more energy? Yes. Every 4th of July a footrace is held. Proteins contain nitrogen and are the basic building blocks of living tissue: they can serve as fuel. and re-arrange their atoms in new combinations.2 HP. and that takes up a big part of its weight (explain if needed). the amount contained in 550 grams (19. so the lightbulb produces 100 × 86400 = 8.4 ounces) of carbohydrates or proteins. Suppose the day is hot. -.8 calories/gram. The energy produced by the food is
. -. --How does TNT (tri-nitro-toluene) compare? Less than sugar.Why do we often say "energy is lost as heat"? Because we often cannot convert any of it back to other forms (or at most can just get back some part). --Assune the food a person consumes in one day delivers 2200 Kcal ("calories"). A day contains 60 × 60 × 24 = 86400 seconds. on the average? ? (This can be given on the blackboard. Marathon towering just behind it. richer in energy. Some carbohydrates are digestible. What heats a room more--an extra person inside it or lighting a 100W lightbulb? Assume 1 Kcal = 4180 joule. the port at the end of the Alaska Railroad. only about 3. others (like wood) are not but serve plants as building materials. has steep Mt. of course. Ultimately.: A runner weighing 60 kg reaches the top of Mt. Marathon and (with a lot of sliding!) back. Marathon in one hour.
00 joule (However.196. less when asleep) --What does the second law of thermodynamics say? That one can never convert heat completely back into other forms of energy. Electric power stations (of any kind) recycle their steam and cool it with air in cooling towers. and the fraction we recover depends on these two temperatures--the one at which the heat is received. carried in their tenders. Other power stations use nearby lakes and rivers to cool and condense their steam.] (Only in case the question is asked: the first law of thermodynamics says. Steam locomotives dumped their spent steam into the air. it also makes a difference whether the extra person is awake or asleep. The body needs more power than average when awake. and the one at which the remainder can be dumped. The unrecovered heat is changed to a lower temperature. A power station needs not only a supply of hot steam.)
. and therefore needed a great amount of of water. [Optional: The fraction of heat energy which can be converted to other forms depends on the temperature at which the heat is provided. and steamships (of course!) do so with seawater. essentially. some of it is always irrecoverable.2200 × 4180 = 9. like those of 3-mile island which (for some reason) became a symbol of nuclear energy. that heat is a form of energy. but also a way of dumping the heat left at the end of the cycle.