Force versus Energy

Science tip:

"Force" and "Energy" mean different things. Force is a push or a pull on an object, and can cause an object to change its momentum (different direction or speed). Energy is the capacity to do work. Energy has a few forms in the syllabus – electrical, gravitational potential, kinetic chemical, light, heat, sound.

A common mistake is to use the word "force" when you mean "energy". For example, it is wrong to say "a falling durian has high gravitational force that can be dangerous". The correct statement in science should be, "a durian on the tree has high gravitational potential energy that can be dangerous when it falls".

Also, remember that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be converted to one form or another. When a question asks for why a pendulum stops swinging after some time, the answer is not simply "because the energy is lost through air resistance". The more accurate answer is "some of the energy is converted into heat and sound energy through the action of air resistance."

Again, a little tip to be exam smart!