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High School Physics

Potential Energy

Last updated on May 30th, 2022 at 12:23 pm

What Is Potential Energy?
Potential energy is a form of stored energy – it is the energy possessed by a body at rest due to its position or size or shape. By doing work, forces act to increase and decrease the kinetic energy of objects within a system. If the kinetic energy that’s removed can be stored and recovered later, the stored energy is called potential energy (symbol U).

Conservative force and Potential energy

Potential energy is always associated with a particular force. Forces that allow kinetic energy to be stored and recovered later are called conservative forces, and conservative forces have potential energy associated with them.
Gravity is an example of a conservative force.

Nonconservative forces, for which lost kinetic energy can’t be recovered, have no associated potential energy. Frictional and drag forces are nonconservative.

Forms of Potential energy (in mechanics)

In mechanics, potential energy is mainly of 2 types (1) Gravitational Potential Energy due to the changed position and (2) Elastic Potential Energy due to changed size and shape.

Read more:

Gravitational Potential Energy

Elastic Potential Energy

See also  Potential Energy Diagrams of different types
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