Potential energy

Potential energy is the energy stored within an object, as result of the object"s position, arrangement or state.

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Potential energy is one of the two main forms of energy, together with kinetic energy.


Kinetic energy used come compress a spring is stored together potential energy until released.

What is potential energy?

Potential energy is energy that is stored – or conserved - in things or substance. This stored power is based upon the position, arrangement or state that the thing or substance.

You deserve to think of that as energy that has the "potential" to perform work. Once the position, plan or state of the object changes, the stored power will be released.

For example, the requires energy to compress a spring – but what wake up to that energy once the spring has been compressed? after ~ all, we understand that power cannot be developed or destroyed, it can only it is in converted indigenous one kind to another.

Well, in the situation of our spring, the kinetic energy used to compress the spring has actually been converted to potential energy. When we relax the spring, the save potential power will be converted ago into kinetic energy.

What are the different varieties of potential energy?

There room two main types of potential energy:

Gravitational potential power Elastic potential power

Higher objects (with further to fall) have higher potential energy.


The heaviest of 2 objects in ~ the very same height has the biggest gravitational potential energy.

Gravitational potential energy

Gravitational potential energy is energy in an item that is hosted in a vertical position, due to the pressure of gravity functioning to pull it down.

The amount of gravitational potential energy an item has depends on its height and also mass. The more heavier the object and the greater it is above the ground, the much more gravitational potential energy it holds.

Gravitational potential energy increases together weight and height increases.

Potential energy is energy that is save in an item or substance.

Gravitational potential energy is energy in an object that is hosted in a upright position.

Elastic potential energy is energy stored in objects that deserve to be stretched or compressed.

Elastic potential energy

Elastic potential power is energy stored in objects that can be extended or compressed, such as trampolines, rubber bands and also bungee cords.

The more an object have the right to stretch, the much more elastic potential power it has.

What space some instances of potential energy?

Examples that potential power include:


A absent sitting top top the leaf of a cliff. If the rock falls, the potential energy will be convert to kinetic energy, as the rock will certainly be moving.


A stretched elastic string in a longbow. When the elastic cable is released, it will cause the arrowhead to shooting forward.


A sparkler. The chemical potential energy in a sparkler will be released when the optimal of the stick is lit.


The food we eat. Food contains chemical potential power – together our body digest it, the stored energy is converted into energy for united state to move and grow.

What execute You Mean?

A swimmer"s gravitational potential power is convert to kinetic power on diving.

Potential energy is power that is save on computer in an item or substance.

Gravitational potential energy is energy in things that is held in a vertical position.

Elastic potential energy is power stored in objects that deserve to be extended or compressed.

Cool truth

The term "potential energy" was an initial used by a Scottish engineer called William Rankine throughout the 19th century.

Cool truth

The principle of potential energy days all the method back to the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle.

Speedy Summary

A spring stores elastic potential energy due to the fact that it can be stretched or compressed.

Potential energy is power that is save in things or substance. The two main types of potential energy are gravitational potential energy and also elastic potential energy.

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Teacher"s Toolkit

Take this to the classroom! Curriculum all set content.

Unit Plan

regulation of preservation of energy
Year 10

Lesson Plans

trying out models for power transfer and transformations
class 3 & 4
Exploring power transfer and also transformations
lesson 5 & 6

Unit Plan

develops of power
Year 8

Lesson Plans

examples of energy types
lesson 1
Exploring power transfers and also transformations
lesson 2 - 4

Unit Plan

electrical Energy, energy Transformations and also Sources
Year 6

Lesson Plans

Explain: Investigating electrical energy and circuits
class 5 - 6

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