Potential Energy vs Kinetic Energy

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

How is potential energy different from kinetic energy?


Potential energy vs Kinetic Energy


Let’s begin with the definition of energy which is the capacity to do work.


Potential energy is stored energy. Gravitational potential energy is the potential an object has to do work as a result of being located at a particular position in a gravitational field. As an object like this bicycle gets further off the ground the potential energy increases. Potential energy also increases as the mass of an object increases.


gravitational potential energy


The formula for gravitational potential energy equals mass times acceleration due to gravity times the distance above a surface.


Kinetic energy is the energy of motion.


kinetic energy


The kinetic energy of an object depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.


KE = 0.5 • m • v2


m = mass of an object


v = speed of object


So in summary Potential energy is stored energy due to the position of the object and kinetic energy is the energy of motion.


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