What You Need:
- Yard stick
- Bouncing ball
- Toy matchbox car
What Do You Do?
For the bouncing ball:
– 1 person holds the yard stick against the wall
– 1 person holds the ball at a short height and bounces the ball
– 1 person keeps track of how high the ball goes
– repeat for multiple heights
For the car:
– open their lab notebook slightly to make a small ramp.. roll the car down and measure how far it goes
– keep making the ramp steeper.. measure how far the car goes
For the poppers:
– each person takes turns doing the popper once
– discuss.. what gives the popper potential energy? Where was work done on the popper?
An object can store energy as the result of its position. For example, the heavy heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy. Similarly, a drawn bow is able to store energy as the result of its position. When assuming its usual position (i.e., when not drawn), there is no energy stored in the bow. Yet when its position is altered from its usual equilibrium position, the bow is able to store energy by virtue of its position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy. Potential energy is the stored energy of position possessed by an object.
If you lift an object up, you put energy into the gravitational field. This energy is not immediately apparent. It is stored energy. The higher you lift the object, the more the energy is stored in the gravitational field. So, the amount of energy that is stored is a function of where you locate the object, a function of how high up you lift it. Therefore, potential energy is not only called stored energy, it is also called energy dependent upon position