What is energy?

Energy is the exertion of power to effect physical change; the capacity for doing work, associated with material bodies or existing independent of matter.
e. of activation The amount of energy needed by molecules to initiate a reaction.
binding e. The energy released in binding a group of protons and neutrons into an atomic nucleus.
chemical e. Energy emanating from a chemical reaction or absorbed in the formation
of a chemical compound.
conservation of e. The principle that the total amount of energy remains constant, none being lost or created in the conversion of one type of force into another.
free e. A thermodynamic function, symbolized as ∆G, that expresses the maximum
amount of work that can be obtained from a chemical reaction.
nuclear e. The energy given off by a nuclear reaction, especially by fission, fusion, or radioactive deterioration; the energy stored in the formation of an atomic nucleus.
potential e. The energy that a particle has by virtue of its position relative to a reference position and which is not being exerted at the time.

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