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Physics: Problems and Solutions

Potential energy

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Potential energy is stored energy an object has. This stored energy can be gravitational, elastic, or electromagnetic. In classic physics, the formula for potential energy is

E_p = m h F_g

In the case of a spring, potential energy is equal to

E_p = \frac{1}{2} k x^2

where k is the stiffness constant and x is the distance the spring is stretched or compressed.

The SI unit for potential energy is the Joule (J).

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