<img src="https://d5nxst8fruw4z.cloudfront.net/atrk.gif?account=iA1Pi1a8Dy00ym" style="display:none" height="1" width="1" alt="" />
Skip Navigation
Our Terms of Use (click here to view) and Privacy Policy (click here to view) have changed. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our new Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Chapter 2: Energy Conservation

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

The Big Idea

Energy is a measure of the amount of, or potential for, dynamical activity in something. The total amount of energy in the universe is constant. This symmetry is called a conservation law. Physicists have identified five conservation laws that govern our universe.

A group of things (we’ll use the word system) has a certain amount of energy. Energy can be added to a system: when chemical bonds in a burning log break, they release heat. A system can also lose energy: when a spacecraft “burns up” its energy of motion during re-entry, it releases energy and the surrounding atmosphere absorbs it in the form of heat. A closed system is one for which the energy is constant, or conserved. In this chapter, we will often consider closed systems; although the total amount of energy stays the same, it can transform from one kind to another. We will consider transfers of energy between systems –- known as work-– in more detail in Chapter 8.

Chapter Outline

Chapter Summary

Image Attributions

Show Hide Details
Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
Last Modified:
Aug 10, 2015
Save or share your relevant files like activites, homework and worksheet.
To add resources, you must be the owner of the FlexBook® textbook. Please Customize the FlexBook® textbook.
Please wait...
Please wait...
Image Detail
Sizes: Medium | Original