Classification of Energy

The laws that govern energy provide the basis for chemical behavior ranging from the structure of matter through the reactions that interconvert molecules. Common forms of energy are relatively easy to recognize:

Radiant energy or solar energy provides the earth’s heat and light.

Chemical energy is stored in the structures of compounds and released when their structures are changed.

Thermal energy increases the motion of atoms and molecules and provides the mechanism to change phases; for example, heating water in order to produce steam.


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