Potential Energy Examples

Potential Energy
Energy is the ability to do work or cause change. There are basically two main types of energy, kinetic and potential. Potential energy is energy that is stored. There are various types of stored, or potential energy. Chemical energy from a battery is a potential form of energy, elastic energy in a stretched rubber band is a form of potential energy, but the most commonly referred to form of potential energy in physics is that of gravitational potential energy. This is energy that is stored due to an object's position. It is dependent on the mass of the object, the height of the object above the ground or Earth, and the acceleration due to gravity.
Examples of Potential Energy:

1. A rock sitting at the edge of a cliff has potential energy. If the rock falls, the potential energy will be converted to kinetic energy.

2. Tree branches high up in a tree have potential energy because they can fall to the ground.

3. A stick of dynamite has chemical potential energy that would be released when the activation energy from the fuse comes into contact with the chemicals.

4. The food we eat has chemical potential energy because as our body digests it, it provides us with energy for basic metabolism.

5. A stretched spring in a pinball machine has elastic potential energy and can move the steel ball when released.

6. When a crane swings a wrecking ball up to a certain height, it gains more potential energy and has the ability to crash through buildings.

7. A set of double "A" batteries in a remote control car possess chemical potential energy which can supply electricity to run the car.

Related Links:
Science Examples
Potential Energy Facts
Potential Energy: Elastic Formula
Potential Energy: Earth's Gravity Formula
Potential Energy: Electric Potential Formula
Potential Energy: Two-Body Gravitation Formula
Elastic Potential Energy Formula
Potential Energy: Electrostatic Point Particles Formula
Chemical Energy Facts
Potential Energy Examples