Force And Motion

What Is Potential Energy?

Potential energy is the stored energy an object contains.

What is Kinetic Energy?

Kinetic energy is the energy of an object in motion.

How is potential energy converted into kinetic energy?

As an object begins moving, its potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. Imagine a baseball resting on top of a cliff. The baseball isn’t moving, so it has no kinetic energy. However, because the baseball has the potential to gain a lot of kinetic energy if it falls off the cliff, it does have potential energy. Now imagine that the baseball falls off the cliff. As it moves downward, its potential energy is transferred into kinetic energy. That’s how potential energy and kinetic energy work together!

At what point on a pendulum is there equal amounts of potential and kinetic energy?

In a simple pendulum with no friction, mechanical energy is conserved. Total mechanical energy is a combination of kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy. As the pendulum swings back and forth, there is a constant exchange between kinetic energy and gravitational potential energy.