- Creation Date: October 01, 2012
- Academic Subject:
Topic: Kinetic energy can be transformed into potential energy and vice versa.
My teammate and I propose a video explaining that energy appears in different forms and that it can be transformed from one form to another. We begin with an everyday example of feeling hungry around lunch time; we lack the “energy” to do things. To regain our “energy”, we eat food, a form of potential energy where the energy is stored as chemical bonds. By breaking these chemical bonds, this potential energy can be converted to motion, or kinetic energy.
While this is an example we have all experienced and understand, it is a complex system to study. A simpler, more concrete example is a pendulum. Using the pendulum, we will:
• Define kinetic and potential energy
o Kinetic energy is the energy of motion (the movement of the pendulum arm)
o Potential energy is “stored” energy (pendulum at the peak of its swing just before it changes directions has all its energy stored as potential)
• Explain conservation of energy
o That the starting and ending points of the swing are the same
o Show how the two energies, potential and kinetic, change during the swing
o Show that the sum of these two energy are always the same, but the magnitude of each at different points during the swing can be different
• Question: What happens if a peg is placed in the way of the pendulum?
o Show that it still swings to its original height
o Energy is conserved
We will then introduce Newton’s cradle, another pendulum-like system, so that we can introduce the concept of energy loss.
• Show Newton’s Cradle, how can we understand it?
o Again, conversion of kinetic & potential energy
o Show how pulling different number of balls affects the height the other balls reach
• Time lapse, show that the balls ultimately stop moving, why? What happened to the conservation of energy?
o Sound is a form of energy too! Losing a small amount of energy in every hit
o All systems suffer from energy loss.
o While we focused on kinetic and potential energy, there are many other forms: thermal, light, sound
o We can transform energy from one type to the other
o Energy is always conserved