What Is the Unit for Potential Energy?


Quick Answer

In the SI system of measurements, the unit used to measure potential energy is the joule (J). Potential energy is an object’s stored energy that is related to its position.

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Full Answer

There are different forms of potential energy, including elastic and gravitational. Elastic potential energy is stored energy that objects have when they compress or stretch. Some examples of elastic energy are a drawn bow and a stretched rubber band before it is released.

Gravitational potential energy comes from the Earth’s gravity and is based on an object’s height and mass. For gravitational potential energy (GPE), the formula is m x g x h, where m is the mass in kilograms, h is the height in meters and g stands for the gravitational constant with the value of 9.8 meters per second squared (m/s^2). An example of gravitational potential energy is a car at the top of a hill.

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