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energy

Introduction

energy, in physics, the ability or capacity to do work or to produce change. Forms of energy include heat , light , sound , electricity , and chemical energy. Energy and work are measured in the same units—foot-pounds, joules, ergs, or some other, depending on the system of measurement being used. When a force acts on a body, the work performed (and the energy expended) is the product of the force and the distance over which it is exerted.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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