## Kinetic Energy

Up until now, we have discussed a number of physics concepts like mass, velocity, acceleration, and force, but we have yet to discuss energy. Energy is a fundamental measurement of the ability for some system to produce either work or heat, and energy plays an incredibly vital role in every science, including physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.

Energy comes in two forms: kinetic energy, and potential energy. Kinetic energy is the energy that something has based on its movement:

*E*_{kinetic}* = *0.5 *m* **v**^{2}

… where *m *is the mass of the object, and **v **is the object’s velocity. Objects with a higher velocity and higher mass will have higher kinetic energy.

There is a multitude of different types of potential energy. A ball on top of a very high tower has a high gravitational potential energy – which is to say, it would have a lot of kinetic energy if it fell. A spring that has become very compressed has a high mechanical potential energy – which is to say, it would have a lot of kinetic energy if it became uncompressed. There are many different equations for the different types of potential energy, but the kinetic energy equation above holds true for all everyday objects. Kinetic and Potential energy are measured in Joules, which are equal to kg*m^{2} / s^{2}.