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)