Potential energy is the dormant form of energy that exists in every object. It can also be defined as the energy stored in an object due to its position, state, or composition. Potential energy can be of different types such aselectrical potential energy– potential energy in an object due to its charge;potential energy of gravity- potential energy in an object when held vertically at some height;elastic potential energy– potential energy in these objects that can be compressed and stretched;chemical potential energy– potential energy stored in the chemical bonds of a substance.
Let's take the example of gravitational potential energy. As mentioned earlier, an object has gravitational potential energy when it is held vertically at a certain height. Or we can simply say that the energy present in an object because of its height is called gravitational potential energy. When an object is at a certain height, the gravitational force of the earth acts on that object to pull it to the earth's surface, hence it is called gravitational potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy in an object can be calculated as follows:
PE = mgh
- "m" is the weight of the object
- “g” is the gravitational force exerted by the earth, i.e. H. 9.8m/s^2
- "h" is the height at which the object is held.
Therefore we can say that the potential energy of gravity is directly proportional to the weight of the object and the height at which it is placed. The greater the weight of the object and the greater the height at which it is held, the greater the gravitational potential energy. The potential energy of a particle system depends only on the initial and final configuration. It is independent of the trajectory followed by the particle. For example; If an object has an initial position at ground level and an ending position at a height "h", then the potential energy is independent of the path this object follows to reach the height "h" zigzag or a straight line; As long as the altitude stays constant, the potential energy stays the same for different paths.
With all the above information about potential energy in mind, let's look at some examples of potential energy from everyday life.
Pendulums are the structures that have weight suspended from a pivot to allow them to swing easily; for example a pendulum clock. When a pendulum is held at one end, it has maximum potential energy because of its position at that point in time. But when we exit the bob, that potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. If the pendulum movement reaches the other end before returning along the same path, it will stop at the highest point for a second. In this resting phase, the kinetic energy is converted into potential energy. This process is repeated again and again until the pendulum stops. The change in energy is similar to the graph below.
As mentioned earlier, elastic potential energy is a form of potential energy that exists in objects that can be stretched and compressed; for example a feather. When a spring is compressed or stretched, it gains a certain amount of potential energy called elastic potential energy, while the energy required to compress the spring is called kinetic energy. When a compressed spring relaxes, the stored potential energy of the compressed spring is converted back to kinetic energy.
3. Bow and Arrow
Did you know that working with a bow and arrow applies the first law of thermodynamics, which states that “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transferred from one form to another”? When an archer pulls the bowstring back, a certain amount of elastic potential energy is gained through the flexible limbs of the bow. The more an archer pulls back, the more potential energy is gained from stretching through the bow limbs. When the bowstring is released, the arrow moves forward very quickly. What's happening here is that the potential energy the bow gains from stretching is quickly transferred to the arrow in the form of kinetic energy, and so it's moving forward.
4. Rocks at the edge of the cliff
A rock on the edge of a cliff has potential energy. The potential energy in this rock depends on its position. As we already know, the energy stored in an object due to its height is called gravitational potential energy; Therefore we can say that the energy present in the rock is gravitational potential energy. And when someone pushes that rock down the cliff, that same potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. So next time on your journey into the mountains, the next time you see a rock resting on the edge of a cliff, remember that it has stored some energy in the form of gravitational potential energy.
5. Foods we eat
Have you ever thought about how we are able to walk, run or do any work that requires a lot of energy? Where does this energy come from in our body to do all the work? Knowing that work requires energy, we get our energy from the food we eat. As explained earlier, there is a type of potential energy in substances called chemical kinetic energy. It is the energy stored in the chemical bonds of a substance. The food we eat has some stored chemical potential energy. When food reaches our stomach, the same potential chemical energy is converted into the energy our body uses. We can say that everything made of atoms has potential energy. Interestingly, if we take two pieces of meat, one hot and one cold, that have the same weight and compare them, we will find that the hot meat has more energy compared to the cold meat because the former has some amount of extra thermal energy Has; however, the amount of potential energy remains the same.
6. Water in dams and reservoirs
The water stored in reservoirs for various purposes such as hydroelectric power generation, irrigation, flood control, human consumption, industrial use, etc. possesses a certain amount of potential energy. Because the water stored in reservoirs is dormant and not allowed to flow, the energy in it is called potential energy; because we know that potential energy is the type of energy that exists in objects at rest. When the gates of a dam open, this initially still water is immediately set in motion and the potential energy stored in the water is converted into kinetic energy.
Have you ever seen the snowy mountains that look so peaceful? When fresh snow falls, the snow begins to pack the mountains. The snow that is at rest contains a certain amount of potential energy. Since these mountains exist at some height, this potential energy can be classified as gravitational potential energy. When it snows, this dense snow cover breaks up, resulting in a snow avalanche. What happens in snow avalanches is that the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. Therefore, the snow moves quickly down the mountain.
Before a bullet is fired from the gun, it is at rest. As we now know, the energy present in an object held at rest is called potential energy. Therefore we can say that the bullets at rest in the gun contain a certain amount of energy known as potential energy. And once the bullets are fired, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.
9. Roller Coaster
When a car is held on top of a roller coaster just before it is allowed to free fall, it contains a certain amount of potential energy. At the highest point of the roller coaster, the car is held still for a few seconds, the energy contained in the car due to the height and weight of the people sitting in the car is called gravitational potential energy. The more people ride on the cart, the greater the gravitational potential energy. When the wagon slides further on the track, the stored potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.
10. Rubber bands
When we stretch a rubber band, it stores a certain amount of potential energy in it. Now we can easily say that elastic potential energy is stored in a stretched rubber band. As soon as the stretched band is released, it quickly returns to its original shape and the elastic potential energy is converted into kinetic energy.
11. Wrecking Ball
Wreaking Ball is similar to a pendulum. When a crane swings a wrecking ball to a certain height, it starts harvesting potential energy. Like a pendulum, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, which is used to smash the buildings.
Swimmers always stand on the diving board and stretch before jumping into the water. While the swimmers are standing on the diving board, they have a certain amount of gravitational potential energy. Once they enter the water, this gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. For this reason, when they dive, swimmers make a jump to get maximum gravitational potential energy, which is converted into kinetic energy. The greater the kinetic energy, the easier it will be to break the viscosity of the water in the pool.
What are 5 potential energy examples at home? ›
- A water tank on a rooftop.
- Rubber band.
- Book on a shelf.
- Rock on hilltop.
- Air-filled balloon.
Systems of objects ranging from atoms to planets can be arranged in many ways, resulting in many forms of potential energy: chemical, elastic, electrical (electromagnetic), gravitational, nuclear, and thermal energy.What are 5 things that have potential energy? ›
There are several forms of potential energy including gravitational, magnetic, electrical, chemical, and elastic potential energy.What are 10 types of potential energy? ›
- gravitational potential energy. roller coaster. waterwheel. hydroelectric power.
- electromagnetic potential energy. electric potential energy. magnetic potential energy. chemical potential energy. ...
- strong nuclear potential energy. nuclear power. nuclear weapons.
- weak nuclear potential energy. radioactive decay.
- Electrical Potential Energy. ...
- Sound Energy. ...
- Nuclear Energy. ...
- Kinetic Energy. ...
- Light. ...
- Heat energy can move from one place to another via conduction, convection and radiation. ...
- Gravitational Potential Energy. ...
- Chemical Potential Energy.
What are some examples of potential energy? A rock sitting on the edge of a cliff. If the rock falls, the potential energy will be converted to kinetic energy, as the rock will be moving. A stretched elastic string in a longbow.What are the three examples of potential energy? ›
There are three main types of potential energy: elastic potential energy, gravitational potential energy, and chemical potential energy. Elastic potential energy is stored in objects that can either be stretched or compressed.Which is the best example of potential energy *? ›
A coiled spring or a stretched rubber band are commonly used as examples of potential energy.What is potential energy Class 11 with example? ›
Potential energy is basically that form of energy that's stored in an object due to its position in comparison to a certain zero position. For example, a rock on the top of a hill has a stored energy in it. This energy is relative to its peak position that takes its form when thrown from that height.What is the most common potential energy? ›
Common types of potential energy include the gravitational potential energy of an object, the elastic potential energy of an extended spring, and the electric potential energy of an electric charge in an electric field.
What are the 4 types of potential energy? ›
- Gravitational potential energy.
- Chemical energy.
- Nuclear energy.
- Elastic potential energy, also called spring energy.
- Electrical potential energy especially in a capacitor.
Potential energy is the stored energy an object has because of its position or state. A bicycle on top of a hill, a book held over your head, and a stretched spring all have potential energy.Is food a potential energy? ›
In food, it's a form of potential energy because it's stored away. Then, through a process called chemical digestion, the bonds containing the stored energy are broken, releasing energy that our bodies then use. Chemical energy can also be converted from one form to another.What is potential energy class 12? ›
Potential energy refers to the energy which an object holds due to its position relative to other objects, stresses within itself, its electric charge, or other factors.What are the 8 main types of energy? ›
The different types of energy include thermal energy, radiant energy, chemical energy, nuclear energy, electrical energy, motion energy, sound energy, elastic energy and gravitational energy.What is 3 things about the potential energy? ›
Potential energy can be described as 3 characteristics that a specific object has. The shape of an object, the position of an object, and its readiness to transform into Kinetic energy.What is an example of potential energy and why? ›
A rock standing on a cliff's edge possesses potential energy. This energy is due to the height of the rock. Potential energy due to height is also known as gravitational potential energy. If someone pushes this rock, the stored potential energy is converted into the kinetic energy.What is potential and example? ›
: capable of becoming real : possible. Doctors are excited about the new drug's potential benefits. Critics say the factory poses a potential threat to the environment. the school's potential growth. He is a potential candidate for president.What are potential energy objects? ›
An object can store energy as the result of its position. For example, the heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy.What type of energy is an example of potential energy? ›
An object can store energy as the result of its position. For example, the heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy.
Is battery an example of potential energy? ›
Batteries use chemistry, in the form of chemical potential, to store energy, just like many other everyday energy sources. For example, logs and oxygen both store energy in their chemical bonds until burning converts some of that chemical energy to heat.What is potential energy grade 8? ›
Potential energy is the energy that an object has because of its position and is measured in Joules (J). Potential energy can also be thought of as stored energy. Kinetic energy is the energy an object has because of its motion and is also measured in Joules (J).What objects has the most potential energy? ›
Answer: Higher objects (with further to fall) have greater potential energy. The heaviest of 2 objects at the same height has the greatest gravitational potential energy.What are 3 potential energy examples? ›
There are six types of potential energy: mechanical energy, electrical energy, chemical energy, radiant energy, nuclear energy, and thermal energy.What are 3 sources of potential energy? ›
There are three forms of potential energy: elastic potential energy, gravitational potential energy, and chemical potential energy.What is potential energy give 2 examples for I? ›
potential energy, stored energy that depends upon the relative position of various parts of a system. A spring has more potential energy when it is compressed or stretched. A steel ball has more potential energy raised above the ground than it has after falling to Earth.