Written by Jerry Ratzlaff on . Posted in Classical Mechanics

energy bannerEnergy is never created or destroyed First Law of Thermodynamics, but it can be transferred from one object to another.  It also comes in many different forms (kinetic, potential, thermal, chemical, electrodynamic and nuclear) and can be converted from any one of these forms into any other, and vice versa.  Energy can be converted from one form to another in three basic ways: through the action of forces (gravitational forces, electric and magnetic force fields, frictional forces), when atoms absorb or emit photons of light and when nuclear reaction occurs.

Typical units for mechanical energy is foot-pounds and joules, english energy is British thermal unit. \(\;Btu = \frac {ft-lbf}{J}\)

Energy formula

\(\large{ E = m   U }\)         

\(\large{ E = F l =  \frac {ml^2}{t^2}  }\)          


\(\large{ E }\) = energy

\(\large{ m }\) = mass

\(\large{ U }\) = internal energy

\(\large{ F }\) = force

\(\large{ l }\) = length

\(\large{ t }\) = time

Elastic Potential Energy

Elastic potential energy is the energy stored in objects as the result of deformation, such as a spring when stretching or compressing.

Elastic Potential Energy formula

\(\large{ PE = \frac {1}{2} kx^2 }\)         


\(\large{ PE }\) or \(\large{ E_p }\) = elastic potential energy

\(\large{ k }\) = spring constant

\(\large{ x }\) = length or displacement

Electric Potential Energy

Electric potential energy known as voltage, is when two opposite charges are held apart.

Electric Potential Energy formula

\(\large{ V = \frac {W}{C} }\)         


\(\large{ V }\) = voltage or electric potential energy

\(\large{ W }\) = work

\(\large{ C }\) = charge

Heat Energy

Heat energy (also called thermal energy) is the exertion of power that is created by heat, or the increase in temperature by the transfer of particles bouncing into each other by means of kinetic energy.  Here are a few examples of heat energy: fire, geothermal, lightening, oven, steam, the sun, etc.

Rest Energy

Rest mass ( \(m_0\) ) of a particle is the mass of a partical that is measured at rest with respect to the observer.

Rest Energy Formula

\(\large{ E_{rest \; mass} = m_0 c^2 }\)         


\(\large{ E_{rest \; mass} }\) = energy rest mass

\(\large{ m_0 }\) = rest mass

\(\large{ c }\)  = speed of light


Tags: Equations for Energy