How Organisms Obtain Energy

energy

the ability to do work or cause change

thermodynamics

study of the flow and transformation of energy in the universe

first law of thermodynamics

energy is neither created nor destroyed, but may be converted from one form to another

second law of thermodynamics

when energy is changed from one form to another, some useful energy is always degraded into lower quality energy, usually heat

autotrophs

organisms that use energy from sunlight or inorganic substances to make organic compounds

heterotrophs

Organisms that depend on other organisms for their food

metabolism

the total of the chemical processes in a cell

photosynthesis

the anabolic process by which plants and some other organisms use light energy to convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and high-energy carbohydrates such as sugars and starches

cellular respiration

the catabolic process whereby certain organisms obtain energy by breaking down organic molecules

adenosine triphosphate (ATP)

One of the principal chemical compounds that living things use to store and release energy

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