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Mechanical Energy

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Essay title: Mechanical Energy

Mechanical Energy

Have you ever wondered how a jet aircraft lifts its tremendous weight

off the ground, or what gives a runner the stamina to reach the finish line

in a race? In order to answer all these questions we must talk about the

transformation of one sort of energy into another.

The jet aircraft gets its power from jet turbines. These powerful jet

engines create a high©pressure stream of very hot gases that push the

aircraft forward as they leave the engine. This is an example of heat

being transformed into movement. This is sometimes described as Mechanical

Energy. However, this transformation could not take place without the fuel

that the aircraft gets within its wings or fuselage. Fuel is considered a

chemical energy.

Fuel can take the form of gases, solids or liquids. When fuels combine

with oxygen from the air, they release their stored energy as heat. We

recognize this process as burning. The individual relies on food for fuel

which contains energy©giving substances that our bodies can store until we

need this energy to use our muscles. When we do use our muscles within us,

we may not always be sure that heat is given off. Our bodies do not burst

into flames but the perspiration on our skin is a clue to what is happening.

The movement of the windsurfer has a different explanation. The

windsurfer is propelled along by a sail which collects mechanical energy

from the winds that sweep along the water. This energy has been produced

by the sun which warms the earth's surface and sets the air above in motion.

The sun's heat comes to the earth as a form of radiant energy. When the

heat reaches the surface of the earth, it causes the land or seas to rise

in temperature.

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