Have you ever felt extremely energetic when doing a physical activity one day, and then the very next day while doing the same activity, you felt less energetic? Did you know the foods you eat affect your energy level? The healthier the food you eat the more energy you will get from it. After you’ve consumed the food, it is stored as potential energy for your body. That energy will then be converted into kinetic energy when you begin a physical activity. In this paper, potential and kinetic energy will be discussed, along with the factors that affect them, and how they are converted.

POTENTIAL ENERGY

“Potential energy is energy which results from position or configuration” (Georgia State University, 2015). The gravitational potential energy an object possesses is a result of its vertical position or height (“Potential Energy”, 2015). An example of gravitational potential energy can be of a bike at the highest point of a hill. When the bike is at the top of the hill, the energy it possesses is potential energy since it is not in use and is being stored. To calculate an object’s gravitational potential energy, use the equation GPE = mgh. The m in the equation represents the mass, in kilograms, of the object, g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 m/s), and h is the height of the object above the ground in meters.
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According to Lucas (2014), “Kinetic energy is the energy a mass has in motion.” If you follow along with the example of the bike for potential energy, then the concept of how potential energy and kinetic energy are converted will be easier to grasp. The kinetic energy of the bike, occurs when the bike is in motion. If the bike were to begin a downhill descent, then it would possess kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is also measured in Joules (J). To calculate kinetic energy use the equation KE= 1/2mv². The m in the equation represents the mass, and the v represents