Try This 5.1 Playground Energy
Draw a sketch or diagram of playground equipment and label positions where you would have potential energy and kinetic energy. Examples include a slide, a teeter-totter, climbing equipment, or a swing. Write a brief explanation at each labeled position.
Try This 5.2 Visualizing Mechanical Energy
Materials: marble, clay, pie plate
Time: 15 minutes
1. Drop a marble from 0.5 meter above a pie plate lined with clay.
2. Observe the dent made by the marble. Record your observations in your lab notebook.
3. Hold the marble 2 meters above the pie plate. Record your observations in your lab notebook.
Analyze and Conclude
4. Does the marble have more or less gravitational potential energy than it did during the first trial?
5. How will this affect its mechanical energy?
6. How does mechanical energy relate to the work an object can do?
Real Life Applications
Roller Coaster Physics
Roller Coaster Physics (23:57)
Strap in and take some terrifying turns on the scariest amusement park attractions in the world. We'll tell you about the wonderful world of applied physics to make you feel more comfortable. Roller coasters are so much fun thanks to friction, potential energy, gravity, and acceleration.
Amusement Park Physics Interactive
Writing to Learn
LS 5.1 Explain the difference between kinetic and potential energy.
LS5.2 Imagine your favorite hot meal. In terms of energy, think about what happens when you eat that meal. Describe all the different forms of energy that you experience. For example, if you are eating under a lamp, its electromagnetic energy helps you see the food. Explain the source of each form of energy.
LS5.4 The following list shows what percent of power used in the United States in a recent year came from each energy source: coal, 23%; nuclear, 8%; oil, 39%; natural gas, 24%; water, 3%; and biofuels, 3%. Prepare a circle graph that presents these data. (See the Skills Handbook p.222 for more information on circle graphs.)
LS 6.2 Draw a kettle of water being heated on a burner and label the convection currents and the path of heat conduction and radiation. Labels must include detailed descriptions of what is happening at each point. (See diagram on p.185.)
LS 6.3 Write a paragraph comparing the water particles in a pot of boiling water to those in an ice cube tray in the freezer.
The sun rises over the bustling city. Buses rumble by, cars creep down the street, and buzzing alarm clocks prompt sleepy residents to flip a switch and get ready for their day. This is a routine familiar to city-dwellers around the world. Right now, many of those cars, buses, and lights are powered using non-renewable energy resources. But that won’t always be the case. To create a sustainable future, you will need to design a new energy portfolio to sustain the city into the future. Are you up to the challenge?
Videos and Podcasts
Matter and Energy (23:06)
Discover how water molecules change states from solid to liquid and gas. Also, learn how to measure heat by learning about Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin.
Potential and Kinetic Energy: Spool Racer
Exploring Windmill Design
Hoover Dam and Hydroelectric Power
Energy in a Trebuchet
Exploring: Energy (17:05)
Making A Pendulum to Determine KE and PE (2:36)
How Do Pendulums Work? (1:37)
A World in Motion: Energy Conservation (29:00)
A World in Motion: Energy Transformation (29:00)
Measure for Measure: Weight and Energy (55:50)
Basics of Physics: Exploring Heat (27:59)
Heat and the Changing States of Matter (19:09)
Kinetic vs Potential Energy
Here is an impressive illustration of converting kinetic energy to potential energy. The guy on the ground launches the shovel with enough kinetic energy to just get it to the guy on the scaffold. The shovel is barely moving at the top of the toss, so all the kinetic energy it had at the bottom has been traded for gravitational potential energy at the the top.