# Potential Energy – Examples, PDF

The first law of thermodynamics states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed, it can only change from one form to another. There are two main types of energy we can observe in our everyday lives.

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## What Is Potential Energy

Potential energy is a type of energy that is stored in every object whether it is living or dead. Potential energy is not affected by other objects moving around its proximity. This energy will dictate the potential amount of work the specific object will exert.

## How to Calculate Potential Energy

Potential energy allows us to understand the conservation of energy, which explains how energy cycles back and forth in our world. If you are still confused about the concept of potential energy and how this affects our lives, then you are free to download and look at the free potential energy samples, examples, and PDFs on the list above.

### 1.) List Down the Formula

The formula of potential energy is PE = MGH where PE is the potential energy, M is the mass of the object, G is the force of gravity on earth, and H refers to the height of the object. Begin by listing down the formula of potential energy on your notes or digital note-taking software. This will allow us to easily visualize the equation and help us in step three.

### 2.) Ensure the Given Variables have the Correct Measurement

All the variables should be using the correct measurements before it is substituted into the formula. PE should be expressed in joules (J), m should be expressed in kilograms (kg), and h should be expressed in meters (m). G will constantly be 9.8 N/kg unless the equation states otherwise as this is the gravitational force of the Earth.

### 3.) Substitute the Given Variables

After you have ensured and converted the variables to the correct measurements, you must substitute all the given variables into the formula. Most of the time the PE will not be given in the question, but if it is then one of the variables will be missing.

### 4.) Solve the Equation

You must then solve for the missing variable through this equation using the formula. Don’t forget to give your answer the correct measurement unless a specific measurement is being asked by the question. If it is required then you must convert the specific measurement to the correct one.

## Kinetic vs. Potential Energy; what is the difference between kinetic and potential energy?

Kinetic energy refers to the energy exerted by an object who is in motion, this energy is affected by various outside sources like height and other moving objects. But if an object is not in motion the energy will be stored inside the object in the form of potential energy. This type of energy is not affected by external factors. These are the main differences between both types of energy.

## How does potential energy affect our everyday lives?

As humans, we absorb our energy by absorbing nutrients from the food we eat in our digestive system. This is because the food we eat has potential energy in the form of chemicals which will be added to our potential energy, allowing us to move and do our everyday work. Another way potential energy has affected our lives is by the way it affects pendulum-like objects. The interaction between pendulum-like objects and potential energy is that it allows objects to swing with their stored potential energy and move in an arc until all the kinetic energy has been transferred. Construction workers use this principle when operating a wrecking ball, which has a pendulum-like structure.

## What are the two types of potential energy?

Elastic potential energy is a type of potential energy that refers to the potential energy stored by materials when they are stretched. The elasticity of the material of the object will dictate the amount of potential energy stored and the mechanical energy that will be released when the stretched object will snap back. Gravitational potential energy is the potential energy that is stored when an object is held or hanged in a vertical position, which gravity creates when it tries to pull the object down. Two factors affect the intensity of the gravitational potential energy this is the height of the object concerning the distance between the object and the ground, and the weight of the object that is held in a vertical position.

Potential energy is the energy an object has stored with the potential to become a type of kinetic energy when the object goes to work. This energy has many different properties that affect humans in their everyday life. In conclusion, the concept of potential energy has allowed us to understand more about how the world works and operates.