Kinetic Energy

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What is Kinetic Energy?

Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a body owing to its speed. Anybody moving with a certain velocity will have kinetic energy.

How does a body attain kinetic energy?

The basic law of physics – the law of conservation of energy – says that energy can neither be created nor be destroyed. Energy can only be transferred from one form to another.

Thus, for any body that attains kinetic energy, there lies a certain amount of work done behind it. For example, a moving rocket has kinetic energy because it is moving with a certain velocity. Where does this velocity come from? When the pilots start the engine and burn the fuel in the fuel chamber. It means a certain amount of work is done prior to the attainment of kinetic energy. In this case, it is the chemical energy that is starting up the engine and is converted into kinetic energy as the time progresses.

What is the formula for kinetic energy?

The kinetic energy ‘E’ of a body of mass ‘m’ and moving with a velocity ‘v’ is given by E = ½ mv2

The kinetic energy of a body depends on its mass and speed. Heavier the body and greater the speed, higher is the kinetic energy and vice-versa.

The kinetic energy of a body is instantaneous; it depends on the instantaneous velocity of the body, i.e., the velocity the body has at that given moment of calculation of kinetic energy.

The kinetic energy of a body is measured in Joules (J).

What are the examples of kinetic energy?

  • A moving airplane: It has high mass and high velocity too – so it has greater kinetic energy.
  • A golf ball about to be knocked: When at rest, before being knocked, it has zero velocity, so zero kinetic energy. When a golfer hit it, its kinetic energy depends on the velocity it possesses at that instant.
  • An asteroid is moving towards the earth: The mass and velocity of the asteroid, both are very high; hence, it contains enormous energy.
  • A flowing river: Both the mass and velocity of the river are high; hence, it has high kinetic energy.
  • An insect flying: Its velocity and mass both are small; hence, it has small kinetic energy.
  • Similarly, a planet moving around the sun, a rock falling from a certain height, a moving pendulum, a bullet fired from a gun, a ball hit by the batsman – all these objects possess kinetic energy.

Other daily life examples for Kinetic Energy

  • In a game of billiards, the kinetic energy of one ball is transferred to another, when you hit the first ball with a cue.
  • During the game of discus throw, the athlete rotates in circular fashion first. This imparts kinetic energy to the disc being thrown.
  • You might have noticed that a spray of water can remove dirt on the car effectively when compared to slow pour. This is because of the kinetic energy of the fast gush of water that has the energy to kick away the dirt particles easily.
  • Electrons revolving around the nucleus also have their range of kinetic energy. According to the kinetic theory of gases, the mean kinetic energy of a molecule is a measure of absolute temperature.

Characteristics of Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy can be stored

For example, consider a rock kept at a certain height from the ground. We know that when it is left to fall down, it has kinetic energy. But now it is at rest. So what is the energy it has? It does have a certain energy. This is called potential energy. It means when a body is about to display its kinetic energy, it can store the energy in other from that has the potential to do some work.

Kinetic energy is scalar

Kinetic energy is independent of the direction of the object. It is only concerned with the instantaneous magnitude of the velocity. Kinetic energy is a scalar quantity, which can always be positive or zero. It can never be negative.

Kinetic energy is transferrable

As we said, the kinetic energy of one cue ball is transferred to another cue ball in a game of billiards. Another example, in the case of collision, the kinetic energy of the bigger object is transferred to the smaller object. Consider the example of a lorry and bike crash. The mass and speed of lorry are more than that of the bike. Hence a lorry has more kinetic energy. Therefore when a moving lorry hits a moving bike, the kinetic energy of the lorry is transferred to the bike, causing it more damage.

Kinetic energy changes its form

Like any other form of energy, kinetic energy too can change itself to another form of energy. We have considered the example of stone in the previous discussion where kinetic energy is changing itself to potential energy. As another example, consider the moving fan a windmill. Its kinetic energy is changed into electrical energy by the generator.

We have kinetic energy only when we act. Remember, velocity is the main factor that decides our kinetic energy.
– Mani Kannan.

How CalculatorHut’s online free kinetic energy calculator helps you?

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Kinetic energy is an essential concept of physics that every student should understand thoroughly. Kinetic energy calculator is one of the free online calculators of CalculatorHut, which is specifically designed to make Kinetic energy calculations simpler. You can calculate any parameter of kinetic energy equation – mass, velocity, and kinetic energy, using CalculatorHut’s online free Kinetic energy calculator within no time.

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Your life is a reflection of how effectively you balance potential and kinetic energy.
– Steve Maraboli.

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