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Mechanical, Potential and Kinetic Energy

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A series of free Online High School Physics Video Lessons.
In this lesson, we will learn about
  • mechanical energy
  • potential energy
  • kinetic energy

Mechanical Energy

An object's ability to do work is measured by its mechanical energy, or the sum the object's kinetic energy and potential energy. Mechanical energy is due to the position or movement of an object. The formula for mechanical energy is mechanical energy = kinetic energy + potential energy.
Understanding and recognizing mechanical energy.
Gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy
Viewers will see how energy can be transferred from one one to the other and will be introduced to frictional losses. Kinetic and potential energy.

Potential Energy

Objects store energy in the form of potential energy. Chemical potential energy is an object's potential to undergo an exothermic reaction; spring potential energy is a compressed spring's potential to expand; and gravitational potential energy is an object's potential to fall from a high altitude to a low altitude. The formula for potential energy is gravitational potential energy = mass × acceleration due to gravity × height.

Understanding and recognizing potential energy.
Simple example of how to calculate the gravitational potential energy of an object and to make an energy diagram.

Kinetic Energy

The energy of an object in motion is called kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is defined as the energy needed for an object to accelerate from a resting position to its current velocity. kinetic energy = 1/2 × mass × velocity2.
Understanding and recognizing kinetic energy.
Basic kinetic energy calculation How doubling the velocity of an object effects the object's kinetic energy.

Try the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice various math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.
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