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Thermodynamics: Forms of Energy

Forms of Energy

There are many forms that energy can take. Some of these forms are thermal, mechanical, kinetic, potential, electric, magnetic, chemical, and nuclear. When you sum all of the forms of energy acting within a system you will obtain the systems total energy.

Now in thermodynamics you don't need to know what the total energy is within a system. The reason why is because thermodynamic only considers the change in total energy. This means you can set the total energy to zero at some convenient reference point when analyzing the change in energy in a thermodynamics problem.

There are two types of energy that make up the energy of a system. They are macroscopic energy and microscopic energy. Macroscopic energy is energy that passes through boundary layer of the system and reacts to the environment or another system. Microscopic energy however is the energy at a molecular level within in the system. Microscopic energy can be considered as the systems internal energy.

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