Kinetic and Potential Energy

Energy is the capacity to do work. It exists in many forms, but it is usually classified into kinetic energy and potential energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of movement. It is present in an object when that object tends to accelerate. Potential energy is the property of matter under its position. A ball sitting on a hilltop contains more potential energy than a ball rolling down the same slope. This is because there are many ways for it to be released than if it is simply resting on flat ground at the bottom of the hill.

What is potential energy?

Potential energy is the work energy in a non-moving (inertial frame) state. For example, if a person is floating in a neutral state with no acceleration, the individual would have potential energy. If a person is standing on a massive object, such as the rim of a pool. The energy they use to stand still or stay in place is potential energy. Kinetic energy is the product of the potential energy and the change in momentum or momentum. It is the driving force behind all motion. If there is a change in a person’s speed, acceleration, or direction of motion, it’s called kinetic energy.

What is kinetic energy?

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion or the force with which a material object moves or accelerates. The only condition of a moving object being is that it has a motion. To accelerate an object, we must apply a force. Doing work requires energy to be transferred, and the object’s speed and kinetic energy will increase. After performing the required work, the object will have a constant speed with more kinetic energy depending on its mass and initial velocity.

Different types of potential energy:

There are two main types of potential energy; Gravitational Potential Energy and Elastic Potential Energy. Gravitational potential energy is the energy of an object that hold in a vertical position to pull down by gravity. The amount of potential gravitational energy of an object depends on its height and mass. The heavier the object and the higher the ground, the more potential gravitational energy it contains. Potential gravitational energy increases with increasing weight and height. On the other hand, elastic potential energy is the energy stored in a stretchable objects such as trampolines, rubber bands, and rubber ropes. As the object grows, the potential energy of that object becomes more elastic.

How to calculate kinetic and potential energy:

Kinetic Energy can be derived using the following formula:

K.E = ½mv2

m = mass (kg)

v = velocity (m/s)

Potential  Energy can be found using the following formula:

P.E = mgh 

m = mass (kg)

g = acceleration due to gravitational field (9.8 m/s2)

h = height (m)

Kinetic energy is proportional to the mass (m)  of the object and the velocity squared (v2), which means that if the mass is kilograms (kg) and its velocity is meters per second (m/s), then its kinetic energy will be kilograms meters squared per second squared (kg m2/s2). Notice that gravitational potential energy has the same units as kinetic energy (kg m2/s2). All forms of energy have the same units and are measured using  Joule (J).

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