Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. It can change form or transform to another kind of energy. However, it can neither disappears or multiply. All kinds of energy can be categorized into two: potential or kinetic. Any object in motion is said to have Kinetic Energy. This suggests that Kinetic Energy is present in everything from a bullet from a shooting gun to a meteor. An object such as a rollercoaster has high kinetic energy. As opposed to this a car traveling at 5 mph will have low kinetic energy.

The word ‘kinetic’ is derived from the Greek word ‘kinesis’ meaning motion. The term has been around since the middle of the 19th century. The term ‘kinetic energy’ was coined in 1849 by William Thomson. However, the idea of Kinetic energy was first understood by Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis. He published a paper ‘Du Calcul de l’Effet des Machines’ in 1829 which briefed the calculations of kinetic energy.

Kinetic energy is similar to potential energy because it is dependent the object weight and the speed at which it is moving. It also has many different types. Vibrational Kinetic Energy occurs with vibrational movements. Rotational Kinetic Energy takes place due to rotational movements. The Transitional Kinetic energy occurs as a result of movement from one place to another.

The formula for calculating KE is:

where

m=mass

v= velocity.

Kinetic Energy increases when the velocity is squared. If a certain car goes twice as fast its energy will be four times more. This reveals that kinetic energy is directly proportional to the square of the speed. Another important aspect of Kinetic Energy is that it is a scalar quantity. This means that it has no direction. It is completely unlike force, momentum or acceleration because it is described best by magnitude alone. Similarly to potential energy and work, the standard measurement unit of Kinetic energy is Joule. According to the equation 1 Joule is equal to 1 kg*(m/s)^2.

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Many other equations can also be used to calculate the object’s kinetic energy. The answers are usually similar or approximately the same no matter which equation is used. In cases where the answer differs the choice of which equation to be used is dependent on the size of the object and the velocity of the object. Therefore, the Newtonian classical mechanics will be correct if the body is moving at velocity lesser than the speed of light. However, if the speed of object is similar to the speed of light than the relativity equation deems more accurate results. The quantum mechanical equation is used if the size of the body is sub-atomic.

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Kinetic energy can also be converted into other types of energies. If a soft object is hit by something and it doesn’t bounce then it is converted into heat. In case if the object in motion is moving upwards and goes higher it is turned into potential energy. It maybe turned into light if it is moving at a fast pace or hits something that sparks like iron or alumunium.

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This can best be illustrated by an example. A cyclist uses his chemical energy which comes with eating food to accelate his bike to a specific speed. That speed can be mainatained without extra effort or work excluding the work needed to overcome friction or air resistance. Although, kinetic energy is produced in this process however the process is not complete. Heat energy is also emitted by the cyclist. There are also other forms of energy that evolve from the same process of cycling. If the cyclist were to come across a steep hill and the bicylcle came to stop at the top of the hill than the kinetic energy wouldve turned into gravitational potential energy. By freewheeling downwards to the other side of the hill this new energy could be released. If the cyclist applied the brakes of the bicycle the kinetic energy would disperse as heat energy.

The Kinetic energy is not completely dependent on the inner nature of the object. It is also dependent on the relationship between the observer and the object. An ‘observer’ is exemplified by a type of coordinate system known as inertial reference frame. Lastly, Kinectic energy contributes to its own gravitational field.

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WORKS CITED:

Kinetic energy. (2007, October 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:56, October 15, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kinetic_energy;oldid=164725308

Karim Nice. (2000, September 11). “How Force, Power, Torque and Energy Work”. In How Stuff Works. Retrieved 20:59, October 15, 2007, from: http://science.howstuffworks.com/fpte9.htm