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Do you ever wonder what makes you go? I don't mean the engine in your car that makes it go down the road , even though this could be considered a form of energy. What I am talking about is the energy stored within something or someone. Energy as you may or may not know is the ability to do work. Of course there are different forms of energy and it is found in virtually everything, which is why we are able to do what we do.

Energy has many different types, one being kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is energy that is stored in a moving object. Heat is an excellent example of the total kinetic energy of atoms in a substance. A few other examples of kinetic energy is someone running, a rock rolling down a hill, or wind blowing through trees. Another type of energy is potential energy, which is available energy stored in an object. Potential energy would be water being held by a dam or a rock sitting on top of a hill waiting to roll down. Chemical energy would be potential energy stored in chemical bonds or molecules. Chemical energy could be in gasoline or in the food that we eat. The different forms of energy that effect our day to day lives include the sun, food, water, wind, steam, electricity, fossil fuels, and nuclear energy. Some of these we need to live, such as food, water, and obviously the sun. We use the others, fossil fuels and nuclear energy for example, within our day to day lives, but most of the time those uses are indirectly used.

Plants depend on energy just like the rest of us, because plants are a living organism. Green plants, plaque, and some bacteria capture the sun and then go through a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a course of action by which organisms that contain chlorophyll, like plants, converts light energy into chemical energy. Most organisms depend on the sun for their source of energy. The sun is essential for two reasons; the first reason is because the sun provides warmth. Organisms survive within a narrow temperature range and warmth from the sun is extremely important for this. If organisms leave this range they will break down or become distorted and will not be able to function. The second reason why the sun is critical for life is because it provides solar radiation for life sustaining energy. By the time solar energy reaches the earth's surface, our atmosphere has filtered out most of the dangerous shortwave radiation. Our atmosphere only lets through the two critical factors for life, warmth and light.

Not all living things photosynthesis. Animals are considered consumers and they get their nutrients and energy from other things. In the food chain the lowest level of the chain would be plants, algae, and bacteria, which all photosynthesize. Herbivores, or plant eating animals, consume these plants and are referred to as primary consumers because they are getting their energy through the plants that contain chemical energy from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. The next level on the food chain is the carnivores, the flesh eating animals that consume the herbivores. Carnivores are termed secondary consumers because energy is going



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