Potential energy definition, types,examples and easy formula

Potential energy

Potential energy is present in every object. Even stationary or moving objects have unexpected potential. 

Potential energy definition

"The energy stored by substances in the body is called potential energy or the ability of an object to function due to its position is called potential energy. For example, the energy of water collected by building a dam, the energy stored in the clock key, the spring tension, or the energy of a spring."

Clouds in the air, the fruit standing on its branch, the vase on the table, the table on the wall, the flying birds have potential energies according to the ground.

Let's learn more about potential energy.

Potential energy is also stationary energy because stationary objects have energy content.

But when an object moves, the potential will turn into kinetic. This energy consists of various types like spring potential, gravitational potential, and also electric potential.

To measure effort and energy, the SI unit symbol is Joule.

Types Of potential energy

Electric Potential Energy

This energy can occur in a particle that has a moving charge in an electric field. The electric field will exert a force on the particles to work.

Following systematic writing:

Ep = k (q0q / r)


Ep = electrical potential (joules)
k = constant (9 × 109N.m2 / C2)
q0 = source load (coulomb)
q = test load (coulomb)

Potential Energy Gravity

This energy occurs in the movement of an object caused by gravity. This makes an object fall to the ground. The energy changes that occur are defined systematically below.

Ep = mgh


Ep = gravitational potential energy (joules)
m = mass of body (kg)
g = gravity (m / S2)
h = height of an object (m)

Spring Potential Energy

This type of energy is needed to stretch or pressure the springs. Systematically, the writing of the formula is as follows.

Ep = ½ kx2


Ep = electrical potential (joules)

k = constant (9 × 109N.m2 / C2)
x = change in position (m)

Examples of Potential Energy in Everyday Life

We often apply potential energy in several cases that occur in everyday life. Here are some applications.

1. The ball rolling

When the ball is rolling over the slope, mom is safe going 2 moments which will save the potential when it is at the top and the small one will be when the ball drops quickly until it stops.

2. Bows

When we pull the bow and the arrow has not yet slid towards the target, the object will store energy first then release an elastic force so that the bow can hit the target.

3. Fireworks

Fireworks have a chemical potential that will work when they come into contact with fire. When turned on, the reactants will work so that the fireworks can be lit.

4. Cars

Cars can move if they have fuel in the form of gasoline, and toys that have an energy source from batteries.
So, the engine converts chemical energy into kinetic energy so the car can turn on when operated.

5. Magnets

When we place the two magnets to the positive pole and placed very close to each other, then they generate electrostatic potential.

6. Fruit on a tree

We can detach the fruit of the tree at any time. Many people think when the fruit is near to ripen, it falls to the ground by itself.
However, this does not happen, but the gravity of the earth causes the fruit to fall.

Examples of Potential Energy Problems

1. A basketball has a mass of 3 kg above the cupboard. The basketball has an energy of 105 joules. What is the height of the cupboard? If gravity is g = 10 m / s2.


g = 10 m / s2
m = 3 kg
Ep = 105 J
Asked about cupboard height?
Ep = m g h
h = Ep: (m x g)
h = 105: (3 kg x 10 m / s2)
h = 105: 30
h = 3.5 meters
So, the height of the cabinet is 3.5 meters.

2. There is a coconut that is still in the tree with a mass of 2.5 kg. If the coconut tree has a height of 9 meters. What is the potential energy of the coconut if the gravitational force g = 10 m / s2?


Known: m = 2.5 kg, h = 9 m, g = 10 m / s2
Ep = m g h
Ep = 2.5 kg x 10 m / s2 x 9 m
Ep = 225 joules.
So, the potential energy of the coconut is 225 Joules.
Examples of problems and their discussion will help you to calculate the amount of energy produced in an object. This will help you understand how potential energy can work and have value.

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