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Potential energy is not only associated with the location of matter (such as a child sitting on a tree branch), but also with the structure of matter. A spring on the ground has potential energy if it is compressed; so does a rubber band that is pulled taut. The very existence of living cells relies heavily on structural potential energy. On a chemical level, the bonds that hold the atoms of molecules together have potential energy. Remember that anabolic cellular pathways require energy to synthesize complex molecules from simpler ones, and catabolic pathways release energy when complex molecules are broken down. The fact that energy can be released by the breakdown of certain chemical bonds implies that those bonds have potential energy. In fact, there is potential energy stored within the bonds of all the food molecules we eat, which is eventually harnessed for use. This is because these bonds can release energy when broken. The type of potential energy that exists within chemical bonds, and is released when those bonds are broken, is called chemical energy    ( [link] ). Chemical energy is responsible for providing living cells with energy from food. The release of energy is brought about by breaking the molecular bonds within fuel molecules.

The molecular formula of octane (top), which is a chain of eight carbons and eighteen hydrogens, fuels a racecar speeding along a track (bottom).
The molecules in gasoline (octane, the chemical formula shown) contain chemical energy within the chemical bonds. This energy is transformed into kinetic energy that allows a car to race on a racetrack. (credit “car”: modification of work by Russell Trow)

Visit this site and select “A simple pendulum” on the menu (under “Harmonic Motion”) to see the shifting kinetic (K) and potential energy (U) of a pendulum in motion.

Free energy

After learning that chemical reactions release energy when energy-storing bonds are broken, an important next question is how is the energy associated with chemical reactions quantified and expressed? How can the energy released from one reaction be compared to that of another reaction? A measurement of free energy    is used to quantitate these energy transfers. Free energy is called Gibbs free energy (abbreviated with the letter G) after Josiah Willard Gibbs, the scientist who developed the measurement. Recall that according to the second law of thermodynamics, all energy transfers involve the loss of some amount of energy in an unusable form such as heat, resulting in entropy. Gibbs free energy specifically refers to the energy associated with a chemical reaction that is available after entropy is accounted for. In other words, Gibbs free energy is usable energy, or energy that is available to do work.

Every chemical reaction involves a change in free energy, called delta G (∆G). The change in free energy can be calculated for any system that undergoes such a change, such as a chemical reaction. To calculate ∆G, subtract the amount of energy lost to entropy (denoted as ∆S) from the total energy change of the system. This total energy change in the system is called enthalpy    and is denoted as ∆H . The formula for calculating ∆G is as follows, where the symbol T refers to absolute temperature in Kelvin (degrees Celsius + 273):

Questions & Answers

wat is Metamorphosis
Lawal Reply
when the chromosomes aling in the middle during mitosis
Lissette
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EVANS Reply
Is talking about the little study out of chemistry
LEKAN
Is talking about the little study out of chemistry
LEKAN
How many cells does a human being have?
Awamalego Reply
How many cells does human being have?
Karikari
How many cells does human being have?
Karikari
countless cells
Imamkasim
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Julien Reply
it supports and gives the appearance of the body.
lo
mandle experiment point
Sarpz Reply
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chiluba
In a lay man definition biology talks about life as a whole
VICTOR
the study of living organisms
the study of the structure, function, and origin of living organisms
biology has many branches. Botany (the study of plants) , evolution,. Ecology (how animals interact amongst each other. the study the habitat of an animal and try to determine as well as find strategies to prevent a species from going extinct.
is simply the study of life
Namuli
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Namuli
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Twinkl Reply
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Twinkl
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Twinkl
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Twinkl
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Twinkl
wat is an animal cell
Monicah Reply
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breathing in reptiles
sam Reply
which molecules binds to the active site of an enzyme
Ghulam Reply
human
Haggai
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Bafaa
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what is nutrients
Patrick Reply
nutrients is substance which body use in terms of need
Haggai
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Abdullahi
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Osei
substance that provides nourishment essential for the maintenance of life and for growth.
umar
right same answer as you Umar
Namuli
please remind me
Namuli
Any material that provide essential components for cell metabolisms is nutrient
Mahmood
what are the types of skeleton
Tanyi Reply
endo skeleton and exo skeleton
Faith
or types of skeletons There is exo skeleton found in class insecta Exo skeleton found in phylum chordata and lastly hydrostatic skeleton found mainly in earth worms
Daniel
and hydrostatic skeleton
Godbless
bronah
Kapoko
endo, exo and hydrostatic skeleton
Mico
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Jerson Reply
life is when any living thing breath or respirate.
Lucky
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Yahaya
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give an example of a phylum where all members have open circulatory
Omoro Reply
anthropoda
Daniel
phylum Anthropoda
Daniel
how do u change the unit of temperature from degree celsius to degree Fahrenheit
Maggie
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create employment
ibrahim
provide food
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pollution
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pollution and lack of knowledge about how to manage waste
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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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