potential energy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

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 ?
It is calculated that when the pile top load is 40.7 kN, the total potential energy of the system reaches its minimum, and its stress is 207.3 kPa, as shown in Figure 8.
One clearly sees the qualitative trend that the balls "evaporate" and jump from the lower level (the potential energy well) to the upper level more readily as the imposed energy (the "temperature") increases.
Then, (13) can be deduced by summing up all the contact potential energy values.
The aim of this study is to analyze the potential energy usage reductions and cost savings of schools in Malaysia.
Section 2 first summarizes constrained molecular dynamics method and constructs two-dimensional potential energy surfaces analytically for Stilbene.
(3) Which of these is not used to store potential energy in high-tech pogo sticks?
(In the rubber band.) Tell kids that the term for stored energy is potential energy. Ask, How can you increase a rubber band's potential energy?
Highlight the vocabulary terms potential energy and kinetic energy and write their definitions on a digital sticky note.
The field parameters [alpha] and [alpha]' can be determined as the dimensionless functions of the total potential energy U.
In this paper a methodology to obtain a pairwise potential energy function U(r) from numerical simulations of two-fixed spherical particles at low particle Reynolds number is presented.
Among specific topics are potential distribution around a non-uniformly charged surface and discrete charge effects, free energy of a charged surface, force and potential energy of the double-layer interaction between two charged colloidal particles, Derjaguin's approximation at small separations, the electrophoretic mobility of concentrated soft particles, the effective viscosity of a suspension of soft particles, and membrane potential and Donnan potential.
The consultant will use the pilot wells to determine the quantity and quality of the gas as a potential energy source.

Full browser ?