Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Workshop 4. Energy in Cycles

Energy can be seen in cycles every day, from the bouncing of balls to the swinging of pendulums. In this session, further explore the relationship between kinetic and potential energy to understand how cycles begin and are sustained, and why they decay.



Program Questions

Answers

1. What happens to energy when an object swings, bounces or oscillates?

In each cycle, potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and back again.

2. What are some everyday examples of energy cycles?

Examples of energy cycles include pendulums, bouncing balls springs, vibrating strings, and people running and walking.

3. Why do most energy cycles diminish over time?

In each cycle, some of the energy leaves the system as heat, sound, or other forms of energy.

4. How can we add energy to maintain a cycle?

Energy impulses have to be timed — and forces applied in the right direction — so that they add to the total energy in the cycle in stead of reducing it.

 

WWWFurther Explanations

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1. Energy Cycles

Elevator

2. Walking as an Energy Cycle

Molecules

3. Why Does the Ball Stop Bouncing?

Toy Car

4. Clocks Rely on Cycles

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