potential energy




Potential energy is a type of energy an object has because of its position. A boulder on top of a hill has a lot of potential energy because it could roll down pretty fast at any moment.

Maybe your parents have said that you have “so much potential!” Well, objects have potential too — specifically potential energy, a concept from the science of physics. This is the opposite of kinetic energy — energy derived from something currently in motion. Something with potential energy is in a position to get moving and is just waiting for a push or shove to do its thing. Like a skier waiting at the top of a mountain.

Definitions of potential energy
  1. noun

    the mechanical energy that a body has by virtue of its position; stored energy

    synonyms:
    P.E.
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    types:

    elastic energy, elastic potential energy

    potential energy that is stored when a body is deformed (as in a coiled spring)
    type of:

    mechanical energy

    energy in a mechanical form

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