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# How do I define mechanical energy?

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Mechanical energy is defined as the energy of an object or system due to its motion or position. It is the sum of the kinetic and potential energy of an object. All moving objects have mechanical energy, whether they are in motion or at a position relative to zero potential energy. For example, a moving truck has mechanical energy because of its motion (i.e. kinetic energy).

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Objects that possess mechanical energy are capable of doing work. Machines and human bodies use mechanical energy to do work and perform motions. An object’s mechanical energy enables it to apply force to another object to displace the other object. An example is the wrecking ball of a demolition machine. It applies force to a building structure in order to demolish the building. The wall of the structure becomes displaced once the wrecking ball hits it. The wrecking ball possesses potential energy when held at a height and kinetic energy when it falls.

There are two forms of mechanical energy. Kinetic energy is the energy of an object due to its motion, while potential energy is stored mechanical energy due to its height above the ground or because it is squeezed, bent or stretched. Mechanical energy exists in every system in the universe. It is found everywhere, from a leaf falling to the ground to a hammer driving a nail. Mechanical energy turns, throws, twists, pushes and pulls.

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## Related Questions

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Because velocity is the rate of motion of an object in a specific direction, either an increase or decrease in the object's speed or a change in its direction of travel causes its velocity to change. This change in velocity is defined as an acceleration, which according to Newton's laws of motion occurs because of an unbalanced force acting on the object.

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An object with more weight resists any change in its speed and has a greater tendency to maintain its motion. This is because an object with more weight is more massive, and an object that is massive has more inertia that causes it to resist any change in speed.

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In physics, "displacement" is defined as the change in position of an object, including how far the object travels and in what direction. If an object moves around but returns to its original position, the object will move though a distance but will not have a displacement.