# Describe the relationship between kinetic energy and gravitational potential

### BBC - GCSE Bitesize: GPE and KE - Higher tier

As the pencil sits motionlessly on the desk, all of the energy in the system is potential, none is kinetic. Stretching the rubber band builds up energy, preparing it for motion. This is referred to as elastic potential energy. There is also gravitational. Gravitational potential energy is energy an object possesses because of its be required to lift the object to that height with no net change in kinetic energy. M is the mass of the attracting body, and r is the distance between their centers.

Each type of kinetic energy is named according to the type of movement the object experiences or performs. Vibrational kinetic energy is the energy that results when an object vibrates.

Rotational occurs when an object rotates or turns. Translational kinetic energy refers to an object moving from one location to another. Atoms and molecules of an object vibrate and bump together, producing heat. As vibration increases, temperature increases and a small amount of heat is produced.

Although heat and thermal energy are related, there is a difference between the two. Heat is transferred from one object to another while thermal energy is what objects possess. Measurement Kinetic and potential energy are measured in units called joules. One joule is equivalent to the amount of energy it takes to lift an object weighing one Newton one meter distance.

### Potential Energy

One Newton weighs approximately half a pound. Thermal energy is measured in therms. One therm is equal toBritish thermal units, or 1, joules. One British thermal unit refers to the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of water one degree Fahrenheit.

## What is gravitational potential energy?

These relationships are expressed by the following equation: To determine the gravitational potential energy of an object, a zero height position must first be arbitrarily assigned.

Typically, the ground is considered to be a position of zero height. But this is merely an arbitrarily assigned position that most people agree upon. Since many of our labs are done on tabletops, it is often customary to assign the tabletop to be the zero height position. Again this is merely arbitrary.

### What is gravitational potential energy? (article) | Khan Academy

If the tabletop is the zero position, then the potential energy of an object is based upon its height relative to the tabletop. For example, a pendulum bob swinging to and from above the tabletop has a potential energy that can be measured based on its height above the tabletop.

By measuring the mass of the bob and the height of the bob above the tabletop, the potential energy of the bob can be determined.

- Kinetic Energy
- GPE and KE - Higher tier
- Potential Energy

Since the gravitational potential energy of an object is directly proportional to its height above the zero position, a doubling of the height will result in a doubling of the gravitational potential energy. A tripling of the height will result in a tripling of the gravitational potential energy. Use this principle to determine the blanks in the following diagram.

Knowing that the potential energy at the top of the tall platform is 50 J, what is the potential energy at the other positions shown on the stair steps and the incline?

Elastic Potential Energy The second form of potential energy that we will discuss is elastic potential energy.

Elastic potential energy is the energy stored in elastic materials as the result of their stretching or compressing. Elastic potential energy can be stored in rubber bands, bungee chords, trampolines, springs, an arrow drawn into a bow, etc. The amount of elastic potential energy stored in such a device is related to the amount of stretch of the device - the more stretch, the more stored energy.

## Kinetic energy

Springs are a special instance of a device that can store elastic potential energy due to either compression or stretching. A force is required to compress a spring; the more compression there is, the more force that is required to compress it further.

For certain springs, the amount of force is directly proportional to the amount of stretch or compression x ; the constant of proportionality is known as the spring constant k.