Potential and Kinetic Energy
Potential energy is energy that is stored in an object. If you
stretch a rubber band, you will give it potential energy. As the rubber
band is released, potential energy is changed to motion.
Kinetic energy is energy of motion. A rubber band flying through the air has kinetic energy. When you are walking or running your body is exhibiting kinetic energy.
Potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. Before the yo-yo begins its fall it has stored energy due to its position. At the top it has its maximum potential energy. As it starts to fall the potential energy begins to be changed into kinetic energy. At the bottom its potential energy has been converted into kinetic energy so that it now has its maximum kinetic energy.
A waterfall has both potential and kinetic energy. The water at the top of Bridal Veil Falls has stored potential energy. When the water begins to fall, its potential energy is changed into kinetic energy. This change in energy also happens at Niagara Falls where it is used to provide electricity from the transformation of mechanical and electromagnetic energy to parts of the northeastern United States.
List five examples of potential energy.
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Updated October 06, 1998 by: Glen Westbroek
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