Energy is the capacity to do work. The six basic types of energy are mechanical, heat, light, chemical, electromagnetic, and nuclear, and may appear in a variety of forms (Figure 2-4). Energy is a vast and complex aspect of physics beyond the scope of this manual. Consequently, this chapter only covers a few aspects of light, heat, and mechanical energy because of their unusual effects underwater and their impact on diving.

Figure 2-4. The Six Form of Energy.

2-5.1 Conservation of Energy. The Law of the Conservation of Energy, formulated in the 1840s, states that energy in the universe can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can be changed, however, from one form to another.

2-5.2 Classifications of Energy. The two general classifications of energy are potential energy and kinetic energy. Potential energy is due to position. An automobile parked on a hill with its brakes set possesses potential energy. Kinetic energy is energy of motion. An automobile rolling on a flat road possesses kinetic energy while it is moving.

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