forms of energy transformation

Forms of energy: kinetic and potential energy

Yes, we can say there are several types of energy, but scientifically they are group into two forms such as kinetic energy and potential energy. Today you’ll get to know these forms of energy their formula and examples. It is necessary to understand that while energy can change forms, it is conserved. This means the total energy of a system is a constant value. This will be further explained.

Read more: Understanding energy sources

forms of energy transformation


Forms of energy

Just as stated, the forms of energy include kinetic and potential energy.

Kinetic energy

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion, that is, atoms and their components are in motion. With this, we can say all matter possesses kinetic energy, even on a larger scale. The common formula for kinetic energy is for a moving mass:

KE = 1/2 mv2

KE is kinetic energy, m is mass, and v is velocity. A typical unit for kinetic energy is the joule.

examples of kinetic energy

Potential energy

These forms of energy are energy that matter gains from its arrangement or position. The object has the potential to do work. A book on a table, a sled at the top of a hit, and a pendulum at the top of its swing are good examples of potential energy. The common equations for potential energy which can be used to determine the energy of an object with respect to its height above a base:

E = mgh                where:

PE is potential energy, m is mass, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and height. However, the common unit of potential energy is the joule (J).  This is because potential energy reflects the position of an object, it can have a negative sign. Either positive or negative still depends on work done by the system or on the system.

examples of potential energy

Watch the video below to learn more about the various forms of energy:

Read more: Relationship between Force and Motion

Other types of energy include:

  • Gravitational energy
  • Magnetic energy
  • Electric energy
  • Nuclear energy
  • Thermal energy
  • Chemical energy
  • Mechanical energy
  • Radiant energy

Finally, on kinetic and potential forms of energy, a car driving down a mountain has kinetic energy from its movement. Energy can change from one form to another. For example, a lightning strike can be converted into electrical energy into light energy, thermal energy, and sound energy. below is the common form of writing this energy.

Kinetic energy (KE) and potential energy (PE):

KE + PE = Constant

Read more: How Force changes the State of Motion

That is all for this post, where the forms of energy are being discussed. I hope you get enough of the reading, if so, kindly share with other students. Thanks for reading, see you next time.


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