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The Relationship between Kinetic and Potential Energy

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Kinetic energy and potential energy are forms of energy that are closely related in that they are forms of energy and one form urns into the other. However, in order to completely understand he relationship it is imperative to comprehend in depth what each form of energy entails. Kinetic energy is defined as the amount of energy in an object that is moving at a certain velocity. It is therefore the energy used for an object to move from a stationary state to the velocity at which it is moving at the time which its kinetic energy is being calculated. This energy is equal to the amount of energy that would be required to stop the object.

Depending on the context I which it is to be determined, different formulas are used to determine kinetic energy. However the most basic and common formula remains he Newtonian formula which states that:

Energy (E) = ½ mvwhere m refers to the mass o the objet and v is the velocity of the object at the time when the energy is to be measured.

Potential energy on the other hand is the complete opposite of kinetic energy. It is defined as the amount of energy that is contained in a stationary objet. It is mainly affected by the position of the item and therefore the position of the articles in it. The amount of potential energy in a n object that can easily be set into motion such as one n a slanting surface is not equal to that of an object n a flat surface and which would be difficult to move. Gravitational potential energy is referred to the amount of work required to for an object to remain at a position that defies gravity. An object at an elevated position, for instance, contains gravitational potential energy equal to the amount of force that would be created were the object to fall.

Another form of potential energy is the chemical potential energy which is the amount of energy that results to the chemical bonds between particles in a stationary object, e.g. covalent bond between atoms. When the bond is broken, the chemical potential energy is converted into other forms of energy e.g. heat and light, e.g. during breakdown of food in digestion, the energy is used in cell metabolism.

The relationship between the two forms of energy is that they are both forms of energy that are interchangeable, i.e., one for easily changes into another. All stationary bodies possess a certain amount of potential energy annd when the object moves, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. Every object, therefore, has a certain amount of potential energy and kinetic energy. When the object changes position, some of the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy, which allows the object to move. However, small amounts of energy are los in heat and other processes that occur as a side effect.

Since one of the characteristics of energy is that it can neither be created nor destroyed, one ca assume that energy is conserved if the negligible amounts of energy that are lost in undesirable processes are not incorporated in the equation. As such, the sum of the amount of kinetic energy and potential energy that is present in an object at any one time is constant. For example, a stone that is positioned at the top of a slope has a certain amount of potential energy.  Assuming that the amount of energy lost in friction and heat is negligible, the some potential energy will turn into kinetic energy when the stone rolls down the slope. This potential energy added to the potential energy still present will be equal to the potential energy that was previously possessed by the stone, therefore establishing the relationship between the two forms of energy.

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