What is Kinetic Energy?
Things that move have kinetic energy. It is the energy possessed by an object due to its motion or movement. These include large objects, like planets, and tiny ones like atoms. The heavier an object is and the faster it moves, the more kinetic energy it has.
Now let’s see this illustration below.
There is a small and large ball resting on a table.
Let us say both balls will fall into the bucket of water.
What is going to happen?
You will notice that the smaller ball makes a little splash as it falls into the bucket. The heavy ball makes a bigger splash. Why?
Note the following:
1. Both balls had potential energy as they rested on the table.
2. By resting up on a high table, they also had gravitational energy.
3. By moving and falling off the table (movement), potential and gravitational energy changed to Kinetic Energy. Can you guess which of the balls had more kinetic energy? (The big and heavy ball)
Let’s see another classic example.
If you are in a hot room and you turn on the fan, what do you begin to feel? Air (wind). The fast movement of the fan’s blades has kinetic energy, which is then transferred into the air (wind) that you now feel.
Other examples of Kinetic Energy include a moving car, a moving wheel, and a moving arrow. CLICK HERE to see how kinetic energy in fast-flowing water can be tapped to generate electricity.