Potential energy - Potential energy (PE) is energy stored in a physical system; this energy can be released or converted into other forms of energy.
- Elastic PE is the potential energy of an elastic object that is deformed under tension or compression.
An example of Elastic PE is a pulled bow or loaded catapult.
- Electrical PE is the potential energy of a stored electrical charge.
Most forms of Electrical PE occur at the atomic level.
- Thermal PE is the potential energy of a system to release heat.
Most forms of Thermal PE are generated by movement at the atomic level.
- Gravitational PE is the energy stored in an object as the result of its vertical position. The higher the vertical position of an object, the greater the Gravitational PE.
An example of Gravitational PE is someone preparing to drop a ball.
- Chemical PE is the potential energy of a chemical that could be transformed into another form of energy by a chemical reaction.
An example of releasing Chemical PE is burning fuel to generate heat.