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Potential Energy Changing to Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a moving object. That is energy gained by body due to virtue of its motion.It generally comes into picture when some work is done onto the body to set it in motion. We calculate it as KE = $\frac{1}{2}$ mv2. Potential energy is the energy stored within a physical system as a result of the position or configuration of the different parts of that system. It has the potential to be converted into other forms of energy such as kinetic energy and to do work in the process. PE = mgh (h is the height of the body from reference point). When no other form of energy is created or lost in motion of a body then from the law of Conservation of energy we can say that Potential energy of body converts to Kinetic Energy.


Considering the diagram above, at the highest point the block has Potential energy. If we suppose it was dropped from rest, then its Kinetic Energy at that point was zero. At that instant :

K.E = $\frac{1}{2}$ mv2 = 0 and PE = mgh
Here m is the mass of the body,
g is acceleration due to gravity,
h is the height,
v is velocity of body.
When the block comes to the lowest point which is ground, all its Potential energy is converted to Kinetic energy. That’s the reason why velocity of falling objects keeps on increasing and hit the ground with great impact.

Related Calculators
Potential Energy Calculator Elastic Potential Energy Calculator
Gravitational Potential Energy Calculator Calculate Kinetic Energy
 

Converting Potential Energy To Kinetic Energy

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Here are some examples of potential energy changing to kinetic energy:

When a ball is thrown it gains kinetic energy as it will be in motion. Once it attains the maximum height the kinetic energy gets converted to potential energy. As the ball comes down the kinetic energy is maximum.

Kinetic Energy Example

Lets consider a person with a bow and arrow. The archer places and aims at the target. At the moment there is no movement. The archers muscles, the bow and the arrow all contain pent-up potential energy. The instant the archer shoots, the potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. The archer lets go of the string and the string pushes arrow towards the target.Here the shape of a bow and the elasticity or flexibility of the string maximize the force on the arrow once the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy.
Kinetic Potential Energy Illustration

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