Potential Energy is defined as a body’s potential to accomplish work inside a system due to its configuration or placement within the system.
This type of energy is directly connected to many others since it may express itself due to the effect of gravitational, electric, and magnetic forces on objects within its field of influence.
After decades of research, potential energy was elevated from a byproduct of kinetic and gravitational energy to a component of more complicated theories and domains such as quantum physics. This type of energy refers to all items influenced by force fields.
Everybody has potential energy and is capable of altering its location and structure. It is unique in that it may be characterized by the sort of contact with the body in question, such as gravity’s incidence, the nature of an elastic material that collects kinetic energy, or the effect of static and electrical power.
Examples of Potential Energy with Pictures
Because various techniques may prove potential energy, it is vital to provide a few instances of potential energy.
Many clocks’ internal mechanics are still based on analog models.
They work using springs and pendulums, which accrue kinetic energy and allow the entire interior of these complicated items to function normally.
In turn, the electrical potential energy that powers modern clocks is stored in batteries.
Rides on roller coasters
Roller coasters do not need to generate all of the power to achieve such speeds.
Instead, they use a large portion of the potential energy they receive when they rise to great heights and move along steep slopes, which allows them to move quickly.
Elements in ground transportation systems are frequently designed to attenuate rapid movements for passengers.
These cushioning elements are composed of various components, such as springs, which absorb and discharge all of the kinetic energy stored during these strong hits.
Batteries for electric vehicles
All electric batteries have a specific electric charge that accumulates and remains inactive until it is put into an electric circuit and the electric potential energy that it contains is released.
This, in turn, has been the result of chemical energy, on which the basis of these electrical components is built.
Whether used to arrange money or in men’s and women’s apparel, elastic bands and various elastic compounds store the energy that causes them to deform or stretch and then return to their original shape, releasing the power held.
How is Potential Energy created?
Potential energy is created from a force acting directly on an item without immediately hurting it. The influencing power must present itself in the system in which it develops, either in position or condition.
Types of Potential Energy
Other well-known types of energy can be used to show potential energy.
Gravitational Potential Energy
Potential energy manifests itself in various ways, one of which is gravitational potential energy. The mass of two bodies and the distance between them determine this type of energy. However, from our perspective, the gravitational impact of planets and celestial bodies may appear much more apparent than smaller entities in space.
Elastic Potential Energy
Elastic potential energy is defined as a material’s ability to return to its original condition or shape after being subjected to various pressures capable of deforming, bending, or stretching it.
Electric Potential Energy
Electric potential energy, like gravitational potential energy, is dependent on the distance between any two bodies and the sign of the charge they have, with two equally charged bodies repelling one other or attracting each other if the charges have different characters.
Chemical Potential Energy
This is the ability of each molecule or compound to generate and transform energy through various chemical processes; this is due to the breaking and formation of chemical bonds, as well as the interaction between different compounds, which enables techniques such as combustion, food metabolization, fermentation, and so on.
Uses of Potential Energy
In its many forms and processes of operation, potential energy has several applications and advantages in modern life, as seen by several specific examples of this sort of energy.
- For aircraft take-off and landing on aircraft carriers, high resistance “rubber bands” are utilized.
- Elastic potential energy has been employed in a wide range of military weapons throughout history, from catapults to tension ropes and wood, crossbows, slingshots, and so on, to the internal mechanism of today’s rifles, which uses springs to return the trigger to its original position.
- Magnets and ferromagnetic bodies work by utilizing the electrical potential energy inherent inside them, which can produce repulsion or attraction depending on the sign of the charge they carry.
- The chemical process that creates fuel ignition is carried out owing to the chemical potential energy released by breaking the bonds of organic molecules, resulting in the release of thermal energy required for engines to work.
- Nuclear potential energy harnesses the energy stored in atoms by disrupting the nucleus of specific isotopes with neutrons, resulting in a chain reaction used in nuclear power plants.
- The space shuttles utilized it at the time, and gravitational potential energy was also employed to return to the planet’s surface of space capsules circling the earth.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Potential energy, for example, has several advantages and downsides that can make a difference.
- In most circumstances, potential energy enables the use of the energy stored in systems without the need to produce significant waste or pollution.
- It is an infinite energy source since gravity and the electrical properties of bodies have qualities that may be employed indefinitely.
- It has several applications in man’s daily life and has always been present throughout the evolution of technology.
- Because of potential energy, the chemical properties of food and materials may be used to prepare and even preserve them without the need for electrical power.
- To harness potential energy in any of its forms, technology, specific materials, or an energy investment must first be deployed.
- Chemical energy is the only potential energy source that entails the emission of waste and contaminants.
- Potential energy harnessed by chemical processes may take some time to materialize, as in the case of fermentation, or it may create vast amounts of waste, as in the case of fossil fuels.
- Elastic potential energy is one of the most often used types of this energy. Still, it is also one of the most rapidly degraded because flexible materials wear out and lose this feature due to releasing and absorbing energy.
Mathematical Formula of Potential Energy
The potential energy is calculated using the following equation:
Ep= Potential energy.
m= Mass of the elevated body.
g= gravitational acceleration constant.
h= Height of the body with respect to sea level.