Energy Sources

Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy

Who discovered kinetic energy?

Galileo and Netwon wrote the documents describing the motion of object, both on Earth and the sky. Kinetic energy was the first used by a scientist named William Thomson in the late 1800s.

Kientic Energy

  • Energy in motion
  • Scalar
  • The energy is defined by the amount of work needed to accelerate a given mass from rest to its current velocity.
  • The mass will maintain its level of kinetic energy until its speed changes.
  • kinetic energy = (1/2) mass of object x speed of object

Who discovered Potential Energy?

For the first time, the term potential energy was used by William Rankine in the 19th century.


Potential Energy

  • An object in rest
  • Two types of potential energy: gravitational potential energy and elastic potential energy
  • potential energy = mass x gravitational acceleration of the earth (9.8m/s^2) x height above earth's surface (meters)


Potential and Kinetic Energy Lesson for kids