Energy - Energy in Various Contexts - Distinction Between Energy and Power

Distinction Between Energy and Power

Although in everyday usage the terms energy and power are essentially synonyms, scientists and engineers distinguish between them. In its technical sense, power is not at all the same as energy, but is the rate at which energy is converted (or, equivalently, at which work is performed). Thus a hydroelectric plant, by allowing the water above the dam to pass through turbines, converts the water's potential energy into kinetic energy and ultimately into electric energy, whereas the amount of electric energy that is generated per unit of time is the electric power generated. The same amount of energy converted through a shorter period of time is more power over that shorter time.

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Famous quotes containing the words power, distinction and/or energy:

    I know not whether the remark is to our honour or otherwise, that lessons of wisdom have never such power over us, as when they are wrought into the heart, through the ground-work of a story which engages the passions: Is it that we are like iron, and must first be heated before we can be wrought upon?
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)

    If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our houses let us count our spoons.
    Samuel Johnson (1709–1784)

    The flattering, if arbitrary, label, First Lady of the Theatre, takes its toll. The demands are great, not only in energy but eventually in dramatic focus. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a star to occupy an inch of space without bursting seams, cramping everyone else’s style and unbalancing a play. No matter how self-effacing a famous player may be, he makes an entrance as a casual neighbor and the audience interest shifts to the house next door.
    Helen Hayes (1900–1993)