# 8 Crucial Difference between Kinetic Energy and Potential Energy

What is the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy?

Energy shows that an object can perform some work. The energy can be informed of either kinetic or potential energy. These two energy terms tend to be quite different.

The main difference between potential and kinetic energy is that potential energy is the energy stored in an object or system because of its position or arrangement of parts whereas Kinetic energy is the energy possessed by a system or an object with respect to the motion of the body or of the particles in the system.

The lesson provides detail insights into the difference between kinetic energy and potential energy for easier understanding. Let’s find out:

Read More: Difference between Temperature and Heat

## What Is Kinetic Energy?

Kinetic energy is the amount of energy contained in a body due to the motion. The energy can easily be transferred from one body to another.

Velocity and mass are the key factors that determine kinetic energy. Besides that, the energy is relative with respect to nature.

Here are the main forms of kinetic energy:

1. Vibrational Energy
2. Rotational Energy
3. Translational Energy

## What Is Potential Energy?

Potential energy is the amount of energy stored in a body at rest. The energy is not transferable from one body to another.

Besides that, the key determining factors of potential energy is distance and mass. It is also non-relative with respect to nature.

Here are the main forms of potential energy:

1. Gravitational Energy
2. Elastic Energy
3. Electrical Energy
4. Chemical Energy
5. Nuclear Energy

## Comparison Chart: Kinetic Energy Vs Potential Energy

 Basic Terms Kinetic Energy Potential Energy Meaning Amount of energy in a body within a motion Amount of energy in a body at rest Transferability Can be transferred from one body to another Cannot be transferred Determining Factor Speed or velocity and mass Distance or height and mass Relation to Environment Relative to the environment Non-relative to the environment Examples Flowing water Water at the top of waterfall Measured from Place itself At the bottom Form of Energy Vibrational Energy Rotational Energy Translational Energy Gravitational Energy Elastic Energy Electrical Energy Chemical Energy Nuclear Energy

## Core Differences

1. Kinetic energy is the amount of energy present in a moving body while potential energy is present to the body at rest.
2. Kinetic energy can easily be transferred while potential energy cannot be transferred.
3. The main determinants of kinetic energy are velocity and mass while that of potential energy is distance and mass.
4. Kinetic energy is relative with respect to nature while potential energy is non-relative with respect to nature.
5. Examples of kinetic energy are falling coconut or flowing water while potential energy is water at the top of the waterfall.
6. Kinetic energy is measured from the place itself while potential energy at the bottom

Read More: Difference between Scalar and Vector Quantity

## Summary

The core difference between kinetic energy and potential energy is that kinetic energy is the amount of energy in a moving body while potential energy is the amount of energy in a body at rest. The international system of the unit of energy is the joule.

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