What is Kinetic energy ?
Kinetic energy is energy that a body possess as a result of its motion.
The kinetic energy of an object is the extra energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its current velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes. Negative work of the same magnitude would be required to return the body to a state of rest from that velocity.
There are various forms of energy :
These can be categorized in two main classes: potential energy and kinetic energy.
Kinetic energy can be best understood by examples that demonstrate how it is transformed from other forms of energy and to the other forms. For example, a cyclist will use chemical energy that was provided by food to accelerate a bicycle to a chosen speed. This speed can be maintained without further work, except to overcome air-resistance and friction. The energy has been converted into the energy of motion, known as kinetic energy but the process is not completely efficient and heat is also produced within the cyclist.
The kinetic energy in the moving bicycle and the cyclist can be converted to other forms. For example, the cyclist could encounter a hill just high enough to coast up, so that the bicycle comes to a complete halt at the top. The kinetic energy has now largely been converted to gravitational potential energy that can be released by freewheeling down the other side of the hill. (Since the bicycle lost some of its energy to friction, it will never regain all of its speed without further pedaling. Note that the energy is not lost because it has only been converted to another form by friction.) Alternatively the cyclist could connect a dynamo to one of the wheels and also generate some electrical energy on the descent. The bicycle would be traveling more slowly at the bottom of the hill because some of the energy has been diverted into making electrical power. Another possibility would be for the cyclist to apply the brakes, in which case the kinetic energy would be dissipated through friction as heat energy.
Like any physical quantity which is a function of velocity, the kinetic energy of an object does not depend only on the inner nature of that object. It also depends on the relationship between that object and the observer (in physics an observer is formally defined by a particular class of coordinate system called an inertial reference frame). Physical quantities like this are said to be not invariant. The kinetic energy is co-located with the object and contributes to its gravitational field.
There are several different equations that may be used to calculate the kinetic energy of an object. In many cases they give almost the same answer to well within measurable accuracy. Where they differ, the choice of which to use is determined by the velocity of the body or its size. Thus, if the object is moving at a velocity much smaller than the speed of light, the Newtonian (classical) mechanics will be sufficiently accurate; but if the speed is comparable to the speed of light, relativity starts to make significant differences to the result and should be used. If the size of the object is sub-atomic, the quantum mechanical equation is most appropriate.
Kinetic energy as it is mathematically written is the classic statement of: Kinetic energy is equal to half the mass of an object times its velocity squared..