Professor Abdul Kahn
SCI 110: Integrated Science
October 21, 2011
Energy conversion has been a topic of debate and research for many years. Scientists conduct experiments in hopes of finding an alternative to relying on burning fossil fuels for electricity. While companies who believe their alternative is the best choice, debate over whose source is the “greenest”. Whether it be biomass, hydroelectricity, solar power, or wind turbines; we must find a new energy source before it is too late. Converting Energy
Although many go unnoticed, energy conversions occur everyday. A “device” called a transducer converts energy from one form to another. For example, solar cells convert solar radiation, a form of thermal energy, into electrical energy that can then be used to power a light bulb (Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia). Humans undergo energy conversions and don’t even notice it. When you eat your body stores it as potential energy that is then converted to kinetic energy that can be used to complete daily tasks. Believe it or not, without these small conversions many projects we complete everyday would become virtually impossible; especially where electrical energy is concerned. Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels are fuels formed by natural occurrences; most commonly the decomposition of buried organic material. The most common fossil fuels are coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These fossil fuels are extremely popular because by simply burning them, a significant amount of energy is produced that can be easily converted into useful material. The main downside to these substances is they take millions of years to form, making them non-renewable. Fossil fuels are slowly but surely becoming obsolete, due to their detrimental effects on the environment. They emit harmful gases into the atmosphere that has been said to contribute to a concept referred to as global warming....