Explain that gravitational potential energy (GPE) is the energy of position (above the Earth’s surface) and that it depends on the object’s mass and height above the ground. Relate that lifted objects have GPE and that the size of an object’s GPE depends on its mass and the vertical distance it was lifted. Make a graph to demonstrate and describe how the GPE changes as the height of an object is increased or decreased.
The flow of energy drives processes of change in all biological, chemical, physical, and geological systems. Energy stored in a variety of sources can be transformed into other energy forms, which influence many facets of our daily lives. The forms of energy involved and the properties of the materials involved influence the nature of the energy transformations and the mechanisms by which energy is transferred. The conservation of energy is a law that can be used to analyze and build understandings of diverse physical and biological systems.
Energy takes many forms. These forms can be grouped into types of energy that are associated with the motion of mass (kinetic energy), and types of energy associated with the position of mass and with energy fields (potential energy).