Measuring energy: “how much chocolate do you need to run a washing machine?”

Full screen view

Sources of energy include water, sun and the wind, as well as certain matter, such as food, oil and uranium. Each of these sources is usually measured in different units (calories, litres, kilos, etc.)

In 1849, it was established for certain for the first time that the total amount of energy remains the same both before and after it is converted into another form of energy (taking losses through heat into account, that is). This meant that we could then compare the various forms of energy with one another.

The unit used for measuring energy is the joule. But one joule only represents a tiny amount of energy. As a result, we use other, bigger, units to describe energy (kilojoule, megajoule, kilowatt hours or "ton of oil equivalent").


All videos, quizzes, animations and photos are copyrighted to the IPF or to their authors. Please contact us before using them.

Latest Pictures

All picture galleries

Focus on

COP22 – time to act on climate change!

COP22 – time to act on climate change!

The International Polar Foundation (IPF) participated in the recent United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of Parties…

Stay up to date

Subscribe to Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get updates about our educational projects and free educational resources.

This is a low trafic mailing list. We usually send no more than 10 mails a year and only for targetted communication.



RSS Feeds

Subscribe to our RSS feeds to be warned in real time when the website is updated.

Here is a list of all available feeds:

Support the IPF

Support us

All donations to the IPF are tax deductible.

Donations can be made by various means, depending if they are made by a company or by individuals.

Support Us