Potential Energy

Written by Jerry Ratzlaff on . Posted in Classical Mechanics

energy PE KE MEPotential energy, abbreviated as PE, also called gravitational potential energy, is the possessed energy by a body due to its relative position in a gravitational field.  As the elevation of the body decreases the less potential energy.


Potential Energy Types

  • Chemical Energy  -  When two substances are combined or mixed together to produce a chemical reaction.
  • Elastic Energy  -  The energy stored in objects as the result of deformation, such as a spring when stretching or compressing.
  • Electrical Energy  -  Energy stored in an electric field or transported by an electric current.
  • Gravitational Energy  -  The energy stored in an object due to its height above the earth.
  • Magnetic Energy  -  A natural phenomenon by which some objects produce attractive or repulsive forces on other materials.


Potential energy formula

\(\large{ PE = m \; g \; h }\) 
Symbol English Metric
\(\large{ PE }\) = potential energy \(\large{ lbf-ft }\) \(\large{ J }\)
\(\large{ g }\) = gravity \(\large{\frac{ft}{sec^2}}\) \(\large{\frac{m}{s^2}}\)
\(\large{ h }\) = height \(\large{ ft }\) \(\large{ m }\)
\(\large{ m }\) = mass \(\large{ lbm }\) \(\large{ kg }\)


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