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What is Kinetic Energy?

Physics | 7-14 yrs | Learning Pod

Every day we do hundreds of tasks from the time we wake up, till the time we sleep. Do you know from where do we get this ability to work? From energy! We have many sources of energy like the sun, water, wind etc. Food also gives us energy which makes our muscles move.

Kinetic Energy : Definition

All energy in the world is divided into two types: Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy. Potential energy is the energy that is stored in an object like a big rock. Kinetic energy is the energy of anything in motion like a car in motion or a football when kicked.

Examples of Kinetic Energy

For example, river water, air, electricity are all forms of kinetic energy. Even planets which constantly rotate or smaller objects like atoms have kinetic energy. The heavier something is and the faster it moves, the more kinetic energy it has in it.

Relationship between Potential and Kinetic Energy

All objects have potential energy in them. When these objects move, this energy changes into kinetic energy. For example, let us look at a big rock sitting on top of a mountain. When it is just sitting, it has potential energy.

If the rock falls from the mountain slope, it will keep rolling down causing a lot of damage. This potential energy is now changed into kinetic energy. In contrast, if we have a very small rock and it falls down the mountain slope, it will stop after going a few metres and would also not cause any damage or destruction. Thus, heavier objects have more kinetic energy.

Kinetic energy is the reason why any fast moving object cannot stop all of a sudden. So, a fast moving bus cannot immediately stop, or if you are riding a bicycle, you cannot immediately put brakes. Kinetic energy can be passed from one object to another by collision. A good example is a bowling game, where the pins begin moving when the moving ball collides with them.

Looking for more Physics articles and videos? Go to: Physics for Kids.