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College Physics (Urone)
Found in: Page 547

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Short Answer

If you run down some stairs and stop, what happens to your kinetic energy and your initial gravitational potential energy?

The kinetic energy will become zero and potential energy will be decreased.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step 1: Potential Energy

  • Energy stored in any object by means of its position is known as Potential energy
  • Potential energy doesn’t gets affected by object outside or surrounding objects.

Step 2: Kinetic Energy 

  • Energy of a system with respect to the motion of the particles is known as kinetic energy.
  • In contrast to potential energy. the kinetic energy of a system is in correspondence to other fixed objects occurring in its surroundings

Step 3: Example:

  • So if we run down the stairs and stop at a certain time, the kinetic energy comes to 0 because the kinetic energy is dependent on the mass and speed of the system.
  • The kinetic energy is formulated as; \(k = \frac{1}{2}m{v^2}\) Where \(m\) is the mass and \(v\) is the Speed or Velocity of the object.
  • And the potential energy is dependent on the mass of the system and the position of the system. The potential energy is formulated as; \({U_g} = mgh\) Where \(m\) is the mass, \(g\) is the acceleration due to gravity and \(h\) is the height.
  • So, when a person runs down the stairs and stops, the kinetic energy becomes \(0\) since velocity is zero. Also, as the height decreases, potential energy also decreases.

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