Potential Energy Calculator – Including Formula, Definition & Example

Our potential energy calculator will help you instantly determine the ultimate joule associated with a particular object. In our calculator, we will highlight a number of different examples and the definition of potential energy.

What is Potential Energy?

Potential energy is a calculation of an object and the corresponding energy associated with that object relative to other objects. The energy with the object is measured in joule. A joule is a unit of energy as measured by the International System of Units.

A number of different electrical forces are determined by the objects potential energy. An example would be the rotational force of a turbine to ultimately generator power that is consumed by everyday individuals. It’s a key part of physics.

Potential Energy Calculation & Formula

The formula for potential energy is actually quite simple. In order to derive at a joule, you need to know three things:

  • Mass of the object measured in kilograms (m)
  • Gravitational acceleration (g)
  • Height of the object measured in meters (h)

From there, you can calculate the Potential Energy (PE) in joule. The formula is as follows:

PE = m x g x h

The one piece of the formula that might not be completely known is gravity. We all live on Earth and that is constant no matter where you are on this planet. The gravitational force on Earth is 9.8 m / s2.

You can hold that constant no matter where you are at.

Example of Potential Energy Calculation

Let’s take a closer look to give you a practical example of the potential energy calculation. Let’s talk about a demolition wrecking ball to determine the potential energy of the wrecking ball (without additional force used by the machine).

The ball weighs 800 kilograms and is pulled to a height of  25 meters. What is the potential energy?

The potential energy would be 800 x 25 x 1, which equals 20,000 joules of energy.

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