Mechanical Energy Facts

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The mechanical energy of an object is the sum of its energy in motion and its stored motion. This means it is the sum of its kinetic and potential energy. Although the kinetic and potential energy of an object can change, its mechanical energy remains constant. This is because kinetic and potential energy change proportionately.

Related Mechanical Energy Facts

  • Every object in motion contains mechanical energy.
  • In a few cases, some mechanical energy is converted to heat resulting in less mechanical energy.
  • A wreaking ball, sound, and a bird all contain mechanical energy.
  • Although other forces are always working on an object, they are normally so small that they do not change the amount of mechanical energy the object has.
  • The job of a hydroelectric power plant is to make electrical energy from the mechanical energy of water that is stored in dams.
  • Although mechanical energy cannot be created nor destroyed, it can be converted to another type of energy.
  • The Law of Conservation of Mechanical Energy says that an objects mechanical energy remains constant under normal circumstances.
  • James Joule is the physicist who discovered the relationship between the loss of mechanical energy and the gain of heat.
  • Some machines or devices can convert heat into mechanical energy.
  • Machines such as steam engines can convert mechanical energy into other forms of energy.
  • The electric motor makes mechanical energy from electrical energy while a generator performs the opposite.
  • The mechanical energy of an object is associated with the objects’ position and motion.
  • A turbine, such as a wind turbine, converts the kinetic energy of gas or steam into mechanical energy.
  • When an object loses mechanical energy, it gains heat or increases in temperature.
  • If an object contains mechanical energy, then it has the ability to do work.


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