Potential energy is the energy because of position, composition, or arrangement. Also, that is the energy connected with forces of attraction and repulsion in between objects. Any type of object that is lifted indigenous its resting position has actually stored energy as such it is referred to as potential energy due to the fact that it has a potential come do work-related when released.

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For example, when a round is released from a details height, that is pulled by gravity and also the potential energy is convert to kinetic energy during the fall. Together this energy converts native potential to kinetic, it is essential to take it into consideration that power cannot be developed nor destroyed (law of conservation of energy). This potential energy becomes kinetic energy as the ball increases towards the ground. The object"s total energy can be found through the amount of this to energies.

In an exothermic smashville247.netistry reaction, potential energy is the source of energy. During an exothermic reaction bonds rest and new bonds type and protons and also electrons walk from a framework of higher potential energy to lower potential energy. Throughout this change, potential power is converted to kinetic energy, which is the heat released in reactions. In an endothermic reaction the opposite occurs. The protons and also electrons relocate from one area of short potential energy to one area of high. This absorbs energy.

Potential energy on a molecular level: Energy save on computer in bonds and also static interaction are:

Covalent bond Electrostatic forces Nuclear forces

Gravitational Potential Energy

where (F) is the the contrary force and (x) is the street moved. To calculation the potential power of an item on earth or within any other force field the formula


(m) is the fixed of the thing in kilograms (g) is the acceleration because of gravity. On earth this is 9.8 meters/seconds2 (h) is the object"s height. The height should it is in in meters.

If the units above are offered for the (m), (g), and also (h), then the last answer must be given in Joules.

Example (PageIndex1)

A 15 gram ball sits on peak of a 2 m high refrigerator. What is the potential energy of the round at the top of the refrigerator?


Use Equation efpe1 with (m =15, grams). This mass however has to be in kilograms. The conversion come grams to kilograms is: 1,000 grams per 1 kg

( extheight=2, m) (g=9.8 , m/s^2)

Example (PageIndex2)

What is the massive of a cart full of groceries the is sitting on top of a 2 m hill if that is gravitational potential power is 0.3 J?


Use Equation efpe1

<0.3,J=(m)(9.8, m/s^2)(2,m) onumber>

and deal with for mass

Example (PageIndex3)

A 200 gram weight is put on height of a shelf through a potential power of 5 J. Exactly how high is the load resting?


<5,J=left(dfrac200,g1000,g/kg ight)(9.8 m/s^2)(h) onumber>

and fix for height

Coulombic Potential Energy

The potential power of two charged corpuscle at a distance deserve to be uncovered through the equation:


(r) is distance (q_1) and also (q_2) space the charges (ε_0= 8.85 imes 10^-12 C^2/J,m)

For charges v the exact same sign, (E) has actually a + sign and also tends to gain smaller as (r) increases. This can explain why like charges repel every other. Systems like a low potential energy and also thus loss each other which increases the distance between them and lowers the potential energy.


For charges with various charges, the contrary of what is stated above is true. E has a - sign which i do not care even an ext negative together the opposite charged particles attract, or come closer together.

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Example (PageIndex5)

Find the distance in between two particles that have a potential energy of (0.2, J) and also charges the (2.5 imes 10^-6, C) and (3.1 imes 10^-6, C).


<eginalign* 0.2 &=dfrac(2.5 imes 10^-6,C)(3.1 imes 10^-6 ,C)4pi (8.85 imes 10^-12 ,C^2/Jm) r \<4pt> &=dfrac(8.99 imes 10^9)(7.75 imes 10^-11)r \<4pt> &=dfrac0.6967r endalign*>