Potential Energy Definition

In physics, potential energy is defined as the energy reserved in an object at a specific place or height. Or in other words, it is determined as the energy stored in an object when it is at a resting position. This SI unit used to measure P.E is Joules. For instance, when an arrow is stretched in a bow, it stores elastic potential energy in it, and when archery releases an arrow, it converts into kinetic energy. For a more precise understanding let's see the image below:

potential energy

Gravitational potential energy, elastic potential energy (or spring energy), and electrical potential energy are the few types of potential energy.


Formula of Potential Energy

The formula used for potential energy is:

PE = m * g * h


PE = potential energy

m = mass of the object

g = gravitational acceleration

h = height from sea level


To calculate potential energy, you can use our Potential Energy Calculator.


Suppose, we have an object placed at a height of 10m with a mass of 5kg. What will be its potential energy?

Given data

h = 10m
m = 5kg
g = 9.8

To Find

Potential Energy = ?


To find the potential energy, we can use the formula listed below:

PE = m * g * h

Putting values in the formula:

PE = 5 * 9.8 * 10 = 490