Two Categories of Energy

All types of energy are either in motion or ready to change into a form of energy that has motion:

  • Potential energy – energy at rest and ready to change into a different type of moving energy
    • Potential energy is stored energy.
      • Example:  a roller coaster at the top of a steep slope.
        • The higher the slope, the more potential energy is stored.
          • Once it starts moving it is not potential energy. It changes to kinetic energy.
  • Kinetic energy – energy in motion
    • Kinetic energy is the motion of waves, atoms, matter, and objects.
      • Example:  the roller coaster moving downward.
        • The faster the car moves, the more kinetic energy is produced.