# What are potential and kinetic energy? - Part 1

What are Kinetic and potential energy?
Contributed by: Dylan L.
Date of publication September 30th 2011

Potential energy is the energy inside an object when the object is at rest or is about to move. Also you could say it is energy waiting to be released. For example a spring pushed down is a form of potential energy because it will move and the potential energy will turn into kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is the energy inside of object that is in motion or it is energy in motion. An example of kinetic energy is a person playing a game, they are moving so therefore their body has kinetic energy.

Figure 1 - example of kinetic energy

Figure 2 - example of potential energy

Conservation of Energy
Conservation of energy is when both types of energy in an object are at the same level of joules. It is impossible to create or destroy energy but it can be changed into another form of energy and when this process is halfway done it is called the conservation of energy. Example let’s say when a person drops a book when the book is halfway to the floor it has the same amount of potential energy and kinetic energy and is called the conservation of energy.

Figure 3 - picture of the conservation of energy

GLOSSARY
• Energy: The capacity for vigorous activity; available power:I eat chocolate to get quick energy.

• Conservation of energy is: Joules of energy staying at the same number of joules

• Joules: The unit used to measure kinetic and potential energy in an object

CITATIONS

• “potential energy." Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition.
Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.
<http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9061056>.
• "Dictionary.com." define energy. "Dictionary.com" "Dictionary.com" Dictionary.com",2011.web.20 Sept. 2011