Kinetic and Gravitational Potential Energy Overview
Notes on Kinetic and Gravitational Potential Energy
Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE)
 Definition: GPE is the energy an object possesses due to its position in a gravitational field. It is calculated using the formula:
[ GPE = m \cdot g \cdot h ] where: ( m ) = mass of the object (in kilograms)
 ( g ) = acceleration due to gravity (approximately ( 9.8 , \text{m/s}^2 ))
 ( h ) = height above ground (in meters)
 Example Calculation:
 Given ( m = 750 , \text{kg} ), ( g = 9.8 , \text{m/s}^2 ), and ( h = 10 , \text{m} ): [ GPE = 750 , \text{kg} \times 9.8 , \text{m/s}^2 \times 10 , \text{m} = 73,500 , \text{J} ]
 This illustrates how heavy objects at a significant height possess substantial gravitational potential energy.
Kinetic Energy (KE)

Definition: Kinetic energy is the energy an object has due to its motion. It can be derived from the Greek word "kinētikos," meaning motion. The formula for calculating kinetic energy is:
[ KE = \frac{1}{2} m v^2 ] where: ( m ) = mass of the object (in kilograms)
 ( v ) = velocity of the object (in meters per second)

Example Problem:
 How much kinetic energy does a 2kg basketball have when thrown at a velocity of ( 22 , \text{m/s} )?
 Given: ( m = 2 , \text{kg} ), ( v = 22 , \text{m/s} )
 Calculation: [ KE = \frac{1}{2} (2 , \text{kg}) (22 , \text{m/s})^2 = \frac{1}{2} \times 2 \times 484 = 484 , \text{J} ]
 This demonstrates how even relatively light objects can have considerable kinetic energy when moving at high speeds.
Standard Units for Measurements
Symbol  Physical Quantity  Standard Unit 

KE  Kinetic Energy  Joules (J) 
m  Mass  kilograms (kg) 
v  Velocity  meters per second (m/s) 
Summary
 GPE is determined by an object's mass, height, and gravity, while KE is influenced by an object's mass and the square of its velocity.
 Understanding both concepts is crucial in physics, as they explain how energy transfers and transforms in mechanical systems.
Reference:
Gravitational Potential Energy
Definition
 Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE): The energy stored in an object due to its position in a gravitational field. This energy is a result of the object's mass, the height above a reference point, and the acceleration due to gravity.
Key Factors Affecting GPE:
 Mass: The quantity of matter in the object, measured in kilograms (kg). More mass means more potential energy.
 Height: The vertical distance from the ground or a reference point to the object, measured in meters (m). The higher the object, the more energy it stores.
 Acceleration due to Gravity (g): The rate at which an object accelerates downward due to gravity, approximately 9.8 m/s² on Earth.
Formula
 The formula for calculating GPE is:
[
GPE = m \times g \times h
]
where:
 (GPE) = Gravitational potential energy in Joules (J)
 (m) = Mass of the object in kilograms (kg)
 (g) = Acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s²)
 (h) = Height in meters (m)
Sample Word Problem
 Problem Statement: A crane lifts a 750 kg beam to a height of 10 m. Calculate the gravitational potential energy gained by the beam.
Given:
 Mass ((m)): 750 kg
 Height ((h)): 10 m
 Acceleration due to gravity ((g)): 9.8 m/s²
Unknown:
 GPE (Gravitational Potential Energy)
Formula Application:
 Substitute the given values into the GPE formula: [ GPE = 750 , \text{kg} \times 9.8 , \text{m/s²} \times 10 , \text{m} ]
 Calculate GPE.
Table of Definitions
Symbol  Description  Standard Unit 

GPE  Gravitational potential energy  Joule (J) 
m  Mass  kilogram (kg) 
g  Acceleration due to gravity  meter per second square (m/s²) 
h  Height  meter (m) 
Additional Thoughts:
Understanding gravitational potential energy is essential in fields such as physics and engineering. It allows for the analysis of energy conservation in systems and is fundamental for designing various structures and machines, including cranes and roller coasters.
Reference:
Work and Energy
Overview of Energy
 Definition of Energy: Energy is the capacity of a physical system to perform work.
 Thoughts: Understanding energy is crucial in physics because it affects how different systems operate in the universe.
 Additional Information: Energy can change forms (e.g., from potential to kinetic), but the total energy in a closed system remains constant, known as the law of conservation of energy.
Forms of Energy
 Types: Potential energy and kinetic energy are two primary forms of energy.
 Thoughts: Exploring these forms can help explain a variety of physical phenomena.
 Additional Information:
 Potential Energy: The energy stored in an object due to its position, such as an object raised above the ground.
 Kinetic Energy: The energy of an object in motion, calculated using the formula ( KE = \frac{1}{2} mv^2 ).
RealLife Applications
 Examples: Riding a bike and stacking stones at the beach.
 Thoughts: These activities integrate concepts of energy and motion, making them relatable examples for learners.
 Additional Information:
 Riding a bike involves converting muscular energy into kinetic energy, while stacking stones demonstrates gravitational potential energy as stones are lifted against gravity.
Newton's Laws of Motion
 Connection: Previous modules covered Newton's Laws of Motion to analyze the motion of objects.
 Thoughts: This foundation in motion is essential for understanding how energy impacts an object's behavior.
 Additional Information:
 Newton's First Law (Inertia) explains that an object in motion stays in motion unless acted upon by a force, which can relate directly to kinetic energy changes.
Study Focus
 Upcoming Module: The focus will be on investigating motion from the perspective of work and energy.
 Thoughts: This approach provides a comprehensive way to understand how various forces and energies interact in physical systems.
 Additional Information: Knowing how to calculate work (Work = Force × Distance) along with energy types will help predict how systems behave under different scenarios.
Reference: