Elastic potential energy is a sort of potential energy connected with material internal configuration. This potential energy refers to the energy held by an elastic item when it is deformed (stretched, separated, etc.) and then released because the object has a natural propensity to return to its initial equilibrium condition.
Since ancient times, physicists and mathematicians have been fascinated by elastic energy, which we can easily observe in everyday life, such as stretching a rubber band, pressing a button, or playing the guitar. However, elastic potential energy was used to give bows, crossbows, and catapults destructive power in the past.
Elastic potential energy is commonly represented by the mechanism of a spring, which is a necessary component in many contemporary technologies such as automotive suspensions and folding chairs. In addition, just as there are solid elastic materials that deform and hold elastic energy, there exist liquids that may accumulate elastic energy when compressed.
Examples of Elastic Potential Energy with Pictures
Examples of elastic potential energy abound. As indicated in the opening, elastic materials have proven highly beneficial to humanity. As a result, the following are some of the more illustrative examples:
The spring is the most common illustration of elastic energy’s ability to work, such as moving an item or cushioning a force.
This spring is not prone to permanent deformations because it is constructed of carbon steel, stainless steel, and other elastic elements.
Despite its status as a weapon, the contemporary bow has evolved into a source of entertainment, earning a spot in the Olympics.
The potential energy of the bow is not just dependent on the string; its construction must be elastic and flexible to enable a proper release of the potential, which will be conveyed as kinetic energy to the arrow.
When the person’s weight stretches the trampoline, it collects elastic energy, which is turned into kinetic energy when released, leading the person to acquire greater leaping height, implying more gravitational potential energy.
The gravitational energy then diminishes as the drop continues, continuing the process.
How is Elastic Potential Energy created?
Elastic potential energy is created when a force displaces or deforms an item, altering its initial position or condition. This change, however, is not permanent since the object’s elasticity makes the deformation or displacement process reversible, allowing it to return to its equilibrium state.
Because of the deformation’s elastic reversibility, the material can accrue internal energy and release it once the distortion ceases and decays.
This scenario occurs optimally during the stretching of a spring, the mechanics of which is dictated by Hooke’s Law of Elasticity.
How does Elastic Potential Energy work?
Elastic potential energy operates based on fundamental physics principles created during Newton’s time and then enhanced with new mathematical notions.
Energy conservation: this rule permits the deformed or stretched item to release all of the elastic potential energy it has accumulated, transforming it into kinetic energy (and, in certain situations, acoustic energy), which will progressively dissipate as the speed of its oscillatory motion diminishes. It will be able to return to its equilibrium condition in this manner.
Hooke’s Law asserts that the deformation of an elastic material during longitudinal stretching is proportionate to the applied force. This rule is critical in developing the mathematics of elastic energy.
Uses of Elastic Potential Energy
Because it is so prevalent, elastic energy potential is one of the most palpable energy sources. Some applications of elastic energy have been described throughout this text; however, the essential ones are listed below:
- Creation of automobiles’ suspension and damping system, known as leaf spring, a bending spring.
- Design of building beams and columns. Approximate prediction of structural behavior in the face of certain factors.
- Manufactured valuable instruments and tools of various categories, such as pens, tweezers, and folding chairs.
Mathematical Formula of Elastic Potential Energy
Elastic energy is described in physics as the work done by a force to move an item.
Hooke’s Law is a crucial need for this active force. As a result of solving the differential equation of work, we get:
U = elastic energy
k = spring constant
x = change in position