“Energetics” is a term of practice with several meanings. In an abstract sense, Energetics deals with various aspects of the uses of materials with specialized “energy” characteristics. In the same way that “Electronics” deals with scientific investigations, design, and applications in many uses of “electrons”, “Energetics” deals with scientific investigations, design, and applications in many uses of “energy”. In our vernacular, Energetics is the technology that encompasses the domain of “Energetic Materials”, by which we mean materials that release heat and gasses when stimulated by some external cause. Some further define “Energetic Materials” as those with a relatively high amount of stored chemical energy (in a given volume or mass) that can be (quickly) released. Release of energy by an “Energetic Material”, can be slow as occur in deflagrations (burning), or very fast as occurs in detonations (explosions).
Today, the term “Energetic Materials” usually refers to explosives of various types, pyrotechnic compositions (4th of July fireworks, and flares are pyrotechnics), propellants (e.g. smokeless gunpowders and rocket fuels), and fuels (e.g. diesel fuel and gasoline). Many just refer to explosives, pyrotechnics, and propellants as “Energetic Materials”, leaving fuels out altogether. Energetic Materials are used extensively in civilian and military applications.