GCSE Physics Revision: Energy Forms

5th April 2017

New GCSE Science syllabus

PHYSICS - Key revision for energy forms


Now we’re going to look at energy forms, which will be an important topic in your GCSE Physics exam. This blog will give you all the main points on energy forms, preparing you with all the information you’ll need to do your very best.


The word energy was originally used when describing engines and then became a keyword in the processes of biological systems and chemical reactions. If you need to learn more about systems and chemical reactions, check out our other songs and blogs!

There are several types of energy, all of which you’ll have to know about before going into your physics exam as they will appear in lots of different topics. Let’s go through each of the definitions now…



Also called thermal energy, heat is what radiates from a fire and what we feel when the sun’s shining.


Electrical energy can be found in bolt of lightening as well as from a computer. Electricity can be stored in both moving charges and static electric charges.


Kinetic energy

This can be called movement energy which probably gives you a clue as to how the energy is created - kinetic energy is created when objects are moving.


Also called radiant energy. This is what we see all around us!


Nuclear power

This form of energy is stored in atoms, in the nuclei.

Chemical energy

Chemical energy is stored in food, batteries and fuel!


Elastic potential energy
When an object is squeezed or stretched, elastic potential energy is produced.

Strain energy

When the atoms inside a molecule are rearranged because of a chemical reaction, strain energy is produced.


This is the energy created by vibrating objects. It is the noises you hear everyday.


Gravitational potential energy (GPE)

Gravitational potential energy is stored in objects that are being pulled to the ground by gravity. An example of this is a raindrop falling from the sky.


Internal energy

This form of energy is stored in a thermodynamic system. An obvious example of this is a thermo flask.

Learning these definitions for the energy forms topic is crucial for your exam. As well as this blog, we’ve also made a song to help you memorise what we’ve been through!


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