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Kinetic Energy Definition

Kinetic energy is energy of motion. For example, a faster object has more kinetic energy.

View Lesson on Potential vs. Kinetic Energy
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Potential vs. Kinetic Energy

Fun Facts

  • Wrecking balls are so big and heavy in order to have more kinetic energy to destroy stuff!
  • A roller coaster converts potential energy to kinetic as it descends.
  • Newton's Cradle transfers kinetic energy through balls

Why Do We Need To Know About Kinetic Energy

Learning about kinetic energy helps us understand how people who design things like roller coasters and sports gear use science to make them both fun and safe. Knowing about kinetic energy is important for making lots of things work better and keep us safe.

This knowledge is also used to improve prosthetic limbs, make athletes better, and create safer cars. People working in engineering, sports science, and defense use ideas about kinetic energy to come up with new solutions and inventions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between kinetic and potential energy?
Kinetic energy is energy of motion and potential energy is associated with the relative position of something.
What variable(s) determine the amount of kinetic energy an object has?
Mass and speed.
What variable(s) determine the amount of potential energy an object has?
The object’s position and its mass.
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