Kinetic Energy vs. Potential Energy

As energy is the the capability and capacity of the matter to complete the work due to its motion or sometimes due to its position as a result of the forces implied on it. Energy is present in numerous forms but the major ones described are mechanical, radiant, chemical, sound and electrical energy. As the energy is convertible, it can be diminished rather it could be altered from one kind to another. Basic forms of energy which are often discussed are either Kinetic energy or potential energy. They both differ from each other largely, However they both are convertible to one another. Kinetic energy is described as the energy owned by a body because of its motion whereas on the other hand potential energy is described as the type of the energy owned by a body due to its location or position in the force field.

What is Kinetic Energy?

Kinetic energy is generally described as the energy associated with the body or to some object due to its mobility or movement. Kinetic energy have many applications, many of them are from our daily life which depicts how Kinetic energy plays an important role, it could observed commonly, that a stone throwed towards a window could break glass easily, falling rivers and streams can revolve and rotate turbines on massive scale, moving wind can revolve and rotate the blades of the wind mills, in all these applications and examples we observe that moving object or body has energy stored in it. This type of the energy which is possessed by the moving body is described as the Kinetic energy.The magnitude associated with the Kinetic energy is dependent both on the product of mass of the object and velocity of the object. Kinetic energy is described by the formula by the product of mass and square of velocity and than this product is divided by two .The formula of the Kinetic energy is given by K.E=0.5v(mv) where in the equation m is the mass of the object which is possessing Kinetic energy whereas v is the velocity of the object. It may also be noted that velocity have square in the formula which shows that velocity is very much proportional to the Kinetic energy, even more as compared to the mass. When velocity is doubled Kinetic energy us increased to four times whereas on the other hand when mass is doubled Kinetic energy is increased twice only. So though Kinetic energy is proportional to very much mass and velocity but it is very much dependent on the velocity.

What is Potential Energy?

When water from the larger reservoirs of water situated at height is directed towards the turbines which are situated at the lower level, they start rotating which shows and depicts that water stored in a reservoir have enormous amount of energy stored in it.Similarly when we talk about playing toy car of the child’s, it is driven and moved by the winding key, the more in key is winded manually, the more the toy car moves. Actually the phenomenon is that when we starts twisting and rotating the key the spring inside the car gets wound, it stores potential energy in it and when we let free the toy car on to the floor, it commences racing because of the reason of the unwinding of the the spring inside the car. This indicates that would spring has the some kind of energy stored in it which compels the car to move. Here the type of energy is different as described earlier,this type of energy is potential energy which is due to the position, location or condition of the object. The more the object is at height, the more will be the gain in the energy. Normally potential energy is described as the gravitational potential energy. Which is described as the product of mass m, gravitational constant g and some height h. Gravitational potential energy is determined according to some position which is assigned the value of zero gravitational potential energy. Generally we take the surface of earth as zero potential energy reference. When we discuss about the energy stored in the compressed spring, it is also form of the potential energy known as the elastic potential energy.

Key Differences between Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy

  1. Kinetic energy is the form of the energy which an object possess due to its motion whereas on the other hand potential energy is the capability and capacity of the object for performing work due to its position or location in comparison with reference zero potential energy
  2. Light energy, sound energy thermal energy and electrical energy are the forms of the Kinetic energy whereas on the other hand chemical energy, mechanical energy, gravitational energy and nuclear energy are the types of the potential energy
  3. Kinetic energy is given as product of mass and square of velocity multiplied by half whereas on the other hand potential energy is given as the P. E=mgh where g is the gravitational acceleration of the object, m is the mass and of course h is the height of object
  4. Moving cars, bullets and water contains as Kinetic energy whereas on the other hand fuels and foods contain the specific amount of potential energy which is released in the form of heat, sound, light or chemical energy. Springs also posses the potential energy.

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