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## Middle school physics - NGSS

### Course: Middle school physics - NGSS>Unit 3

Lesson 2: Potential energy

# Potential energy

Potential energy is type of stored energy that an object or system of objects may have based on their size, shape, position, or even material they are made from. Learn about what potential energy is and the different types of potential energy an object may have. Created by Khan Academy.

## Want to join the conversation?

• What is the difference between electric potential energy and electric forces? Both of them have the same thing: Opposites attract, and similarities repel.
• Hey,
You have the basic idea: opposites charges attract and similar charges repel.

However, electric potential energy is the energy needed to move a charge against an electric field. Imagine that the Earth is a positively charged ball. Now all positive ions would move away from the Earth, naturally, so the question would be how much work would be needed to move a positive ion towards the Earth.

It would be similar to thinking about gravitational potential energy but reversed, because now (in Electrical Potential Energy) energy is needed to move a positive ion toward the "ball" not away.

So, in summary, both ideas revolve around the fact of opposites charges attract and similar charges repel. But, electric potential energy develops on that basic idea and is the amount of stored energy (potential energy) when two similarly charged ions are moved closer to each other.

Hope that helps.
• A good way of seeing it is theoretical energy or am I wrong?
• Yes, that’s a good way of seeing it. Potential energy is a type of energy that is stored in an object due to its position relative to other objects. It is theoretical energy because it has the potential to become kinetic energy.
• What is potential energy
(1 vote)
• When energy is stored in something
• who is making these videos?
• People that work at Khan Academy
(1 vote)
• In school I learned that there is also chemical potential energy. How does that work?
• You are correct. Chemical potential energy is the energy stored in the chemical bonds of a substance. When the substance undergoes a chemical reaction, the bonds are broken and the energy is released. This energy can be used for various purposes, such as powering a car engine or heating a house1.

For example, gasoline contains a large amount of chemical potential energy that is released when it is burned in a controlled way in the engine of a car2.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.
• What is the difference between gravitational forces and gravitational potential energy?
• The gravitational force only depends on the mass of an object. The gravitational potential energy depends on both the mass as well as its position. Gravitational force is the pull on the object, or its weight. Gravitational potential energy is the potential to do work because of its position
• t is time
• upvote for a 🍪
• Are all types of energy somewhat connected to each other?
• Yes, all types of energy are connected to each other. For example, potential energy can be converted into kinetic energy and vice versa. When an object is dropped from a height, its potential energy is converted into kinetic energy as it falls. Similarly, when a moving object comes to a stop, its kinetic energy is converted into potential energy.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.