Potential energy

Potential energy or positional energy is a physical quantity that indicates the energy of an object in a conservative force field. Such forces include gravity in a gravitational field, elastic forces (e.g., spring force), and the force acting on electric charges in a static electric field. The potential energy of an object is equal to the work required to overcome the conservative force. The potential energy of an object in Earth's gravitational field can be calculated using the formula:



m— mass of the object;
g— acceleration due to gravity;
h— height.

The potential energy of a spring is given by the formula:



k— spring constant depending on the material and construction of the spring;
x— displacement from the equilibrium position.

The unit of measurement for potential energy in the SI system is the joule (J).

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