difference between kinetic energy and potential energy with examples

Potential energy held by a person because of its location or condition. The the kinetic the energy of an object may correlated to the condition of other objects within its surroundings but potential energy is independent of its surroundings. Therefore, the speed at which an object accelerates is not apparent when moving one object, whereas other objects within the same space are also moving. For instance, a bullet speeding through a person who is standing has an energy kinetic, however the bullet is not energy kinetically related to a train that is moving along.

Kinetic energy that possessed by a body as a result of its motion.

Difference Between Kinetic and Potential Energy

Kinetic and Potential Energy

The conservation law of energy stipulates that energy can’t destroyed, but it can transform from one form to another. The pendulum’s suspended body gets higher, and, due to its location, its potential energy increases until it is at its highest point at the highest point. When the pendulum starts its downward motion, the stored energy potential transformed into energy kinetic.

Differences Between Kinetic and Potential Energy?

Kinetic EnergyPotential Energy
DefinitionThe energy that a body or system in relation to the movement of the body or the particles that make up the system.Potential Energy is stored energy within an object or system as a result of its configuration or position.
Relation to environmentThe energy of a kinetic object is based on its relationship to other stationary and moving objects that are in its immediate vicinity.Potential energy is not related to the surroundings that surrounds an object.
TransferabilityKinetic energy can be transferred from one moving object to another, say, in collisions.Potential energy cannot be transferred.
ExamplesFlowing water, such as when falling from a waterfall.Water at the top of a waterfall, before the precipice.
SI UnitJoule (J)Joule (J)
Determining factorsSpeed/velocity and massHeight or distance and mass

When springs extended to one end, it applies an force on the opposite side to allow it to come back to its initial state. This force referred to as the restoring force. It works to return objects and systems back to their original in the position they are at. The force needed to extend in the spring has stored within the material as energy potential. After the spring’s release the potential energy stored in the metal transforms into kinetic energy through the force of restoring.

If a weight lifted and a result of the gravitational force of the Earth (and the force of restoring in this instance) works to bring it back to its original position. The energy required to lift this mass will stored in potential energy because of its location. As the weight lifted, the stored potential energy converted into energy kinetic.

Types of Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy

Kinetic energy divided into two kinds, based on the nature of objects

  • Translational kinetic energy
  • Rotational kinetic energy

The kinetic energy associated with an object that is rotating will determined as the sum of the energy of the kinetic energy from its many moving components. Also, bodies at rest contain the kinetic energy. The molecules and atoms that make up the body are always moving. The kinetic energy in such an object is the measurement of temperature.

Energy potential is classified based on the force of restoring that’s applicable.


  • Potential energy of gravitational gravity is the energy potential of an object related to the force of gravity. For instance, if the book placed on the table and raised the book off the floor and the energy stored by the book because of its elevated place on the table are the gravitational potential energy. This is where gravity acts as the force responsible for restoring.
  • Energy from elastic potential the energy produced through an elastic organ such as the catapult and bow as stretched or deformed a single direction. Its also known as the energy of elastic potential. The force of restoring is elasticity, which operates against the opposing direction.
  • Energy from chemical potential that related to the arrangement of molecules and atoms in a particular structure known as the chemical energy potential. Chemical energy produced by a substance because of its potential to undergo chemical changes as a result of an chemical reaction is the chemical potential energy that the substance. When fuel utilized as an example, the energy stored in the fuel transformed into heat.
  • Electric potential energy that possessed by an object due to the effect that it charged with electricity known as electrical potential energy. There are two kinds of electrical potential energy: electrostatic potential energy as well as electrodynamic potential energy, also known as the magnetic potential energy.
  • Energy from nuclear potential Potential energy held by particles (neutrons and protons) within the atomic nucleus known as nuclear potential energy. For instance hydrogen the fusion process on the sun converts potential energy stored within sunlight into light.

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