Potential energy is the energy of the system due to its position relative to other systems. A common example is the potential energy of everyday objects due to gravity. Another good example is the bowstring and the bow, which stores the energy as elastic potential energy and stress energy, to be later converted into kinetic energy to the arrow. Potential energy is measured in SI units as joule, J. 1 J is 1 kg m2 s−2.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to calculate the gravitational potential energy on Earth?
Gravitational potential energy, U, of an object is simply the energy stored in the object at a certain height h. This is equal to the work done against the force of gravitational attraction, or the weight w of the object, over the height h. The weight of the object is mass m times the acceleration due to gravity g on Earth. Therefore, the gravitational potential energy can be calculated as below.