# potential energy

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## potential energy

the energy of a body or system as a result of its position in an electric, magnetic, or gravitational field. It is measured in joules (SI units), electronvolts, ergs, etc.

## potential energy

The energy possessed by a body or system by virtue of its position or configuration. It is equal to the work done by the system changing from its given state to some standard state. In a gravitational field, a mass m placed at a height h above a standard level (say the surface of the Earth) has potential energy mgh, where g is the acceleration of gravity.

## Potential Energy

the part of the total mechanical energy of a system that depends on the relative positions of the particles making up the system and on the positions of the particles in the external force field, such as a gravitational field. The potential energy of a system in a given position is numerically equal to the work that the forces acting on the system perform when the system is shifted from this position to a position in which the potential energy is arbitrarily assumed to be equal to zero.

It follows from this definition that the concept of potential energy holds only for conservative systems, that is, systems in which the work of the acting forces depends only on the initial and final positions of the system. Thus, for a weight P raised to a height h, the potential energy will be equal to Ph; it will be equal to zero when h equals zero. For a weight attached to a spring, the potential energy will be 0.5cλ2, where λ is the elongation or compression of the spring and c is the spring’s stiffness. Again, the energy is zero when λ is zero. For two particles with masses m1 and m2, attracted according to the law of universal gravitation, the potential energy is —fm1m2/r, where f is the gravitational constant and r is the distance between the particles. In this case, the energy is zero when r = ∞. The potential energy of two point charges e1 and e2 is calculated in a similar manner.

S. M. TARG

## potential energy

[pə′ten·chəl ′en·ər·jē]
(mechanics)
The capacity to do work that a body or system has by virtue of its position or configuration.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the novel material, the pervasive high-energy states could provide a way for hot electrons to retain their latent energy as they travel through the solid.
The purpose of this preconditioning is to minimize the impact of sensible energy changes on the experimental results, since we are primarily interested in the latent energy storage capabilities of the tank; preconditioning would not be necessary in normal operation.
heat recovery systems, which transfer only sensible heat, and heat and moisture recovery systems, which transfer both sensible and latent energy.
The BlackLight Process uses a novel catalytic process to generate energy from water vapor, releasing the latent energy of the hydrogen atom by forming a more stable form of hydrogen called Hydrinos.
Zone Loads, Outdoor Air Loads, and Reference Capacity at the Optimized Zone Temperature and Humidity Ratios (1) Sensible Energy Zone Zone Outdoor Reference Load, W Air Capacity, W Load, W North 841 -1352 [right 511 arrow] East 1446 -1445 [right -1 arrow] South 1066 -1352 [right 286 arrow] West 841 -1352 [right 511 arrow] Core 2568 -2322 [right -246 arrow] Total 1555 Latent Energy Zone Zone Outdoor Reference Load, W Air Capacity, W Load, W North -66 -457 [right 523 arrow] East -100 -539 [right 639 arrow] South -66 -457 [right 523 arrow] West -66 -457 [right 523 arrow] Core 173 -867 [right 694 arrow] Total 2902 (1.
Industry data suggests that in the United States alone, over 50,000 megawatts of latent energy potential is unexploited every year as these waste streams are buried in landfills.
As the zone air is pulled across the plants, carbon concentrates are absorbed by the plants, while the latent energy of air is increased due to the irrigation system needed for plant growth.
SoftGen's artificial muscles scavenge the latent energy in human motion to directly power devices and put power where it's needed.
Generally, they capture some of the sensible or latent energy content of the building exhaust air and transfer it to the outdoor air intake, without mixing or mass transfer.

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