### - Art Gallery -

In physical sciences, mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy. It is the macroscopic energy associated with a system. The principle of conservation of mechanical energy states that if an isolated system is subject only to conservative forces, then the mechanical energy is constant. If an object moves in the opposite direction of a conservative net force, the potential energy will increase; and if the speed (not the velocity) of the object changes, the kinetic energy of the object also changes. In all real systems, however, nonconservative forces, such as frictional forces, will be present, but if they are of negligible magnitude, the mechanical energy changes little and its conservation is a useful approximation. In elastic collisions, the kinetic energy is conserved, but in inelastic collisions some mechanical energy may be converted into thermal energy. The equivalence between lost mechanical energy (dissipation) and an increase in temperature was discovered by James Prescott Joule.

Many devices are used to convert mechanical energy to or from other forms of energy, e.g. an electric motor converts electrical energy to mechanical energy, an electric generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and a heat engine converts heat energy to mechanical energy.

General

Energy is a scalar quantity and the mechanical energy of a system is the sum of the potential energy (which is measured by the position of the parts of the system) and the kinetic energy (which is also called the energy of motion):

$$E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}=U+K\,$$

The potential energy, U, depends on the position of an object subjected to a conservative force. It is defined as the object's ability to do work and is increased as the object is moved in the opposite direction of the direction of the force.[nb 1] If F represents the conservative force and x the position, the potential energy of the force between the two positions x1 and x2 is defined as the negative integral of F from x1 to x2:

$$U=-\int _{x_{1}}^{x_{2}}{\vec {F}}\cdot d{\vec {x}}}$$

The kinetic energy, K, depends on the speed of an object and is the ability of a moving object to do work on other objects when it collides with them.[nb 2] It is defined as one half the product of the object's mass with the square of its speed, and the total kinetic energy of a system of objects is the sum of the kinetic energies of the respective objects:
\)
$$K={1 \over 2}mv^{2} The principle of conservation of mechanical energy states that if a body or system is subjected only to conservative forces, the mechanical energy of that body or system remains constant. The difference between a conservative and a non-conservative force is that when a conservative force moves an object from one point to another, the work done by the conservative force is independent of the path. On the contrary, when a non-conservative force acts upon an object, the work done by the non-conservative force is dependent of the path. Conservation of mechanical energy MIT professor Walter Lewin demonstrating conservation of mechanical energy According to the principle of conservation of mechanical energy, the mechanical energy of an isolated system remains constant in time, as long as the system is free of friction and other non-conservative forces. In any real situation, frictional forces and other non-conservative forces are present, but in many cases their effects on the system are so small that the principle of conservation of mechanical energy can be used as a fair approximation. Though energy cannot be created or destroyed in an isolated system, it can be converted to another form of energy. Swinging pendulum A swinging pendulum with the velocity vector (green) and acceleration vector (blue). The magnitude of the velocity vector, the speed, of the pendulum is greatest in the vertical position and the pendulum is farthest from Earth in its extreme positions. Main article: Pendulum In a mechanical system like a swinging pendulum subjected to the conservative gravitational force where frictional forces like air drag and friction at the pivot are negligible, energy passes back and forth between kinetic and potential energy but never leaves the system. The pendulum reaches greatest kinetic energy and least potential energy when in the vertical position, because it will have the greatest speed and be nearest the Earth at this point. On the other hand, it will have its least kinetic energy and greatest potential energy at the extreme positions of its swing, because it has zero speed and is farthest from Earth at these points. However, when taking the frictional forces into account, the system loses mechanical energy with each swing because of the negative work done on the pendulum by these non-conservative forces. Irreversibilities Main article: Irreversible process That the loss of mechanical energy in a system always resulted in an increase of the system's temperature has been known for a long time, but it was the amateur physicist James Prescott Joule who first experimentally demonstrated how a certain amount of work done against friction resulted in a definite quantity of heat which should be conceived as the random motions of the particles that comprise matter. This equivalence between mechanical energy and heat is especially important when considering colliding objects. In an elastic collision, mechanical energy is conserved – the sum of the mechanical energies of the colliding objects is the same before and after the collision. After an inelastic collision, however, the mechanical energy of the system will have changed. Usually, the mechanical energy before the collision is greater than the mechanical energy after the collision. In inelastic collisions, some of the mechanical energy of the colliding objects is transformed into kinetic energy of the constituent particles. This increase in kinetic energy of the constituent particles is perceived as an increase in temperature. The collision can be described by saying some of the mechanical energy of the colliding objects has been converted into an equal amount of heat. Thus, the total energy of the system remains unchanged though the mechanical energy of the system has reduced. Satellite Main article: Vis-viva equation plot of kinetic energy K, gravitational potential energy, U and mechanical energy \( E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}$$ versus distance away from centre of earth, r at R= Re, R= 2*Re, R=3*Re and lastly R = geostationary radius

A satellite of mass m at a distance r from the centre of Earth possesses both kinetic energy, K {\displaystyle K} K, (by virtue of its motion) and gravitational potential energy, U, (by virtue of its position within the Earth's gravitational field; Earth's mass is M). Hence, mechanical energy $$E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}$$ of the satellite-Earth system is given by

$$E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}=U+K$$

$$E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}=-G{\frac {Mm}{r}}\ +{\frac {1}{2}}\ mv^{2}$$

If the satellite is in circular orbit, the energy conservation equation can be further simplified into

$$E_{{\mathrm {mechanical}}}=-G{\frac {Mm}{2r}}\$$

since in circular motion, Newton's 2nd Law of motion can be taken to be

$$G{\frac {Mm}{r^{2}}}\ ={\frac {mv^{2}}{r}}\$$

Conversion

Today, many technological devices convert mechanical energy into other forms of energy or vice versa. These devices can be placed in these categories:

An electric motor converts electrical energy into mechanical energy.
A generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy.
A hydroelectric powerplant converts the mechanical energy of water in a storage dam into electrical energy.
An internal combustion engine is a heat engine that obtains mechanical energy from chemical energy by burning fuel. From this mechanical energy, the internal combustion engine often generates electricity.
A steam engine converts the heat energy of steam into mechanical energy.
A turbine converts the kinetic energy of a stream of gas or liquid into mechanical energy.

Distinction from other types

The classification of energy into different types often follows the boundaries of the fields of study in the natural sciences.

Chemical energy is the kind of potential energy "stored" in chemical bonds and is studied in chemistry.
Nuclear energy is energy stored in interactions between the particles in the atomic nucleus and is studied in nuclear physics.
Electromagnetic energy is in the form of electric charges, magnetic fields, and photons. It is studied in electromagnetism.
Various forms of energy in quantum mechanics; e.g., the energy levels of electrons in an atom.

References

Notes

It is important to note that when measuring mechanical energy, an object is considered as a whole, as it is stated by Isaac Newton in his Principia: "The motion of a whole is the same as the sum of the motions of the parts; that is, the change in position of its parts from their places, and thus the place of a whole is the same as the sum of the places of the parts and therefore is internal and in the whole body."

In physics, speed is a scalar quantity and velocity is a vector. In other words, velocity is speed with a direction and can therefore change without changing the speed of the object since speed is the numerical magnitude of a velocity.

Citations

Wilczek, Frank (2008). "Conservation laws (physics)". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
"mechanical energy". The New Encyclopædia Britannica: Micropædia: Ready Reference. 7 (15th ed.). 2003.
Newton 1999, p. 409
"Potential Energy". Texas A&M University–Kingsville. Archived from the original on 2012-04-14. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
Brodie 1998, pp. 129–131
Rusk, Rogers D. (2008). "Speed". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
Rusk, Rogers D. (2008). "Velocity". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
Brodie 1998, p. 101
Jain 2009, p. 9
Jain 2009, p. 12
Department of Physics. "Review D: Potential Energy and the Conservation of Mechanical Energy" (PDF). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2011-08-03.
Resnick, Robert and Halliday, David (1966), Physics, Section 8-3 (Vol I and II, Combined edition), Wiley International Edition, Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 66-11527
E. Roller, Duane; Leo Nedelsky (2008). "Conservation of energy". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
"James Prescott Joule". Scientists: Their Lives and Works. Gale. 2006. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-08-28.
Schmidt, Paul W. (2008). "Collision (physics)". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Retrieved 2011-09-03.
Kopicki, Ronald J. (2003). "Electrification, Household". In Kutler, Stanley I. (ed.). Dictionary of American History. 3 (3rd ed.). New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 179–183. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth, eds. (2008). "Electric motor". The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (4th ed.). Detroit: Gale. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
"Electric motor". U*X*L Encyclopedia of Science. U*X*L. 2007. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
"Generator". U*X*L Encyclopedia of Science. U*X*L. 2007-07-16. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
"Hydroelectric Power". Water Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-08-23
Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth, eds. (2008). "Internal combustion engine". The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (4th ed.). Detroit: Gale. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
"Steam engine". U*X*L Encyclopedia of Science. U*X*L. 2007-07-16. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, Brenda Wilmoth, eds. (2008). "Turbine". The Gale Encyclopedia of Science (4th ed.). Detroit: Gale. as cited on "Student Resources in Context". Gale. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
Atkins, Peter W. (2008). "Chemical energy". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
Duckworth, Henry E.; Wilkinson, D. H. (2008). "Nuclear binding energy". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
Hartwig, William H. (2008). "Electrical energy measurement". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
Smythe, William R. (2008). "Electromagnetic radiation". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.
Gerjuoy, Edward (2008). "Quantum mechanics". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.

March-Russell, John (2008). "Energy level (quantum mechanics)". AccessScience. McGraw-Hill Companies. Archived from the original on 2013-07-19. Retrieved 2011-10-17.

Bibliography

Brodie, David; Brown, Wendy; Heslop, Nigel; Ireson, Gren; Williams, Peter (1998). Terry Parkin (ed.). Physics. Addison Wesley Longman Limited. ISBN 978-0-582-28736-5.
Jain, Mahesh C. (2009). Textbook of Engineering Physics, Part I. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 978-81-203-3862-3. Retrieved 2011-08-25.
Newton, Isaac (1999). I. Bernard Cohen; Anne Miller Whitman (eds.). The Principia: mathematical principles of natural philosophy. United States of America: University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-08816-0.

vte

Energy

Outline History Index

Fundamental concepts

Energy
Units Conservation of energy Energetics Energy transformation Energy condition Energy transition Energy level Energy system Mass
Negative mass Mass–energy equivalence Power Thermodynamics
Quantum thermodynamics Laws of thermodynamics Thermodynamic system Thermodynamic state Thermodynamic potential Thermodynamic free energy Irreversible process Thermal reservoir Heat transfer Heat capacity Volume (thermodynamics) Thermodynamic equilibrium Thermal equilibrium Thermodynamic temperature Isolated system Entropy Free entropy Entropic force Negentropy Work Exergy Enthalpy

Types

Kinetic Internal Thermal Potential Gravitational Elastic Electric potential energy Mechanical Interatomic potential Electrical Magnetic Ionization Radiant Binding Nuclear binding energy Gravitational binding energy Quantum chromodynamics binding energy Dark Quintessence Phantom Negative Chemical Rest Sound energy Surface energy Vacuum energy Zero-point energy

Energy carriers

Radiation Enthalpy Mechanical wave Sound wave Fuel
fossil fuel Heat
Latent heat Work Electricity Battery Capacitor

Primary energy

Fossil fuel
Coal Petroleum Natural gas Nuclear fuel
Natural uranium Radiant energy Solar Wind Hydropower Marine energy Geothermal Bioenergy Gravitational energy

Energy system
components

Energy engineering Oil refinery Electric power Fossil fuel power station
Cogeneration Integrated gasification combined cycle Nuclear power
Nuclear power plant Radioisotope thermoelectric generator Solar power
Photovoltaic system Concentrated solar power Solar thermal energy
Solar power tower Solar furnace Wind power
Wind farm Airborne wind energy Hydropower
Hydroelectricity Wave farm Tidal power Geothermal power Biomass

Use and
supply

Energy consumption Energy storage World energy consumption Energy security Energy conservation Efficient energy use
Transport Agriculture Renewable energy Sustainable energy Energy policy
Energy development Worldwide energy supply South America USA Mexico Canada Europe Asia Africa Australia

Misc.

Jevons paradox Carbon footprint

Physics Encyclopedia

World

Index

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License