Science 101: What exactly is energy?

It isn’t an easy task to explain what energy is. For that simple answer, let’s head to your average science textbook and retrieve the following: “Energy is the ability to do work.” Okay, but what does that mean? What do we mean by work? Even if we know what work is, does that give us a good feel for what energy is? Is energy something tangible, like a rock? Can you hold energy in your hand? Is energy something we can model in the same way we draw models of atoms or representations of magnetic field lines? This article attempts to answer some of these questions.


Type Journal ArticlePub Date 3/1/2007Stock # sc07_044_07_62Volume 044Issue 07

NSTA Press produces classroom-ready activities, hands-on approaches to inquiry, relevant professional development, the latest scientific education news and research, assessment and standards-based instruction.

Learn More