Mechanical energy is defined as the energy of an object or system due to its motion or position. It is the sum of the kinetic and potential energy of an object. All moving objects have mechanical energy, whether they are in motion or at a position relative to zero potential energy. For example, a moving truck has mechanical energy because of its motion (i.e. kinetic energy).
Objects that possess mechanical energy are capable of doing work. Machines and human bodies use mechanical energy to do work and perform motions. An object’s mechanical energy enables it to apply force to another object to displace the other object. An example is the wrecking ball of a demolition machine. It applies force to a building structure in order to demolish the building. The wall of the structure becomes displaced once the wrecking ball hits it. The wrecking ball possesses potential energy when held at a height and kinetic energy when it falls.
There are two forms of mechanical energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of an object due to its motion, while potential energy is stored mechanical energy due to its height above the ground or because it is squeezed, bent or stretched. Mechanical energy exists in every system in the universe. It is found everywhere, from a leaf falling to the ground to a hammer driving a nail. Mechanical energy turns, throws, twists, pushes and pulls.Learn More
Mechanical energy helps humans perform manual tasks in an easier and more efficient manner, explains the Physics Classroom. Benefits of mechanical energy are evident in construction projects, in which many of the activities involve machines lifting heavy objects and cutting materials into smaller pieces. Using mechanical energy also has drawbacks, one of which is that machines and equipment require maintenance to keep them in working order.Full Answer >
In physics, "displacement" is defined as the change in position of an object, including how far the object travels and in what direction. If an object moves around but returns to its original position, the object will move though a distance but will not have a displacement.Full Answer >
Kinetic energy is contained in a moving object, while potential energy exists in a stored form. Potential energy can be changed into kinetic energy. Potential energy is ready for release, while kinetic energy is already doing work. The property of a body determines the type of energy it contains.Full Answer >
If the speed of a moving object is cut in half, its kinetic energy is reduced by four times. Kinetic energy is defined as the amount of energy an object has because of its motion.Full Answer >