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When you think of energy conservation, you probably think of ways to save energy in your home. When scientists speak of the Law of Conservation of Energy, they mean something very different.

This law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words, the amount of energy that exists remains the same, but it is often changed from one type into another.

Think of that day when you woke up without any energy. Eating breakfast helped get you moving. The potential chemical energy in the food you ate was changed into the kinetic energy that got you up and moving.

Here are some examples of how energy is changed from one type to another.

  • The radiant energy of the sun becomes the chemical energy stored in food
  • The chemical energy in food becomes the energy your body needs to do work
  • The nuclear energy in an atom becomes electrical energy in a reactor
  • Electrical energy in your home becomes thermal energy in a heater
  • The chemical energy in gasoline becomes the motion energy of your car

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Science Encyclopedia for KidsEnergy