Elastic Potential Energy To Kinetic Energy: How to Convert, When, Where, Examples And Facts


The elastic potential energy is stored potential energy, but how does the conversion of elastic potential energy to kinetic energy occur, that we are going to discuss in this topic.

The elastic potential energy is stored in the elastic object upon deforming it by means of compression, elongation, or stretching which is converted into kinetic energy when the deforming force applied to the object is removed.

How are Elastic Potential Energy and Kinetic Energy Related?

Elastic potential energy supplies the kinetic energy to the object and kinetic energy imparted to the elastic material will convert into the potential energy.

Suppose we stretch any elastic material for example a rubber band and release it, then the elastic potential energy built in the rubber band will be converted into the kinetic energy swaying it to a far distance.

How is Elastic Potential energy converted to Kinetic energy?

The elastic potential energy is stored in the configuration of the object upon deformation.

The elastic material has the ability to regain its shape and hence is called elastic. As the elastic potential energy is built up in the object, the object will try to regain its original shape and size by converting it into kinetic energy.

When Elastic Potential Energy is converted to Kinetic energy?

The electric potential energy is a consequence of the force applied to the deformation of the object.

The elastic potential energy stored in the object is converted into kinetic energy only when the force of deformation of the object is released.

Where is Elastic Potential Energy converted to Kinetic energy?

The conversion of elastic potential energy to kinetic energy is seen only in the case of the elastic material.

The elastic potential energy is set in the material by stretching, compressing, or applying the stress on the object, and the energy built in is converted into the kinetic energy upon removing the applied force because this material has a tendency of regaining its shape after deformation.

Elastic Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy Formula

The elastic potential energy is directly dependent on the length of the deformation of the object that is, how long the object is stretched or compressed and is proportional to the elasticity constant.

The elastic potential energy stored in the object upon deforming is given by the formula

[latex]U=\frac{1}{2}kx^2[/latex]

Since entire elastic potential energy is converted into the kinetic energy then

[latex]\frac{1}{2}kx^2=\frac{1}{2}mv^2[/latex]

Hence we get,

[latex]\frac{v}{x}=\sqrt{\frac{k}{m}}[/latex]

Then the ratio of the velocity of the object at which it will return back to the original position from the length of its displacement will be equal to the square root of the mass of the object per elastic constant of the object.

Elastic Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy Efficiency

The efficiency of the object is calculated based on the energy utilized by the object to do the work based on the total energy supplied to the object. The elastic potential energy to kinetic energy efficiency is the ratio of the kinetic energy obtained from the given elastic potential energy to the object and is given as

[latex]\eta =\frac{Kinetic\ energy}{Elastic\ potential\ energy}[/latex]

[latex]\eta =\frac{\frac{1}{2}mv^2}{\frac{1}{2}kx^2}[/latex]

[latex]=\frac{mv^2}{kx^2}[/latex]

We can calculate the efficiency of the elastic potential energy to kinetic energy using this formula.

Elastic Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy Examples

Here is a list of examples of elastic potential energy to kinetic energy conversion:-

Bow and Arrow

The kinetic energy to the arrow is supplied by the conversion of the elastic potential energy of the string which is developed upon stretching the elastic string of the bow and releasing it onto the arrow.

elastic potential energy to kinetic energy
Bow and arrow; Image Credit: pixabay

Spring

Upon compressing or elongating the string, the elastic potential energy is built in the spring. Due to its elastic property, it will try to regain its original configuration by converting the elastic potential energy to kinetic energy and hence oscillates back and forth converting the energy frequently until it loses entire elastic potential energy.

Trampoline

The elastic potential energy gained upon stretching the trampoline surface on a jump is released on the body while jumping and hence the body is thrown to a great height.

Trampoline; Image Credit: pixabay

Slingshot

It is used to plug the fruits from the taller trees by throwing a stone toward the fruit. The kinetic energy supplied to the stone to travel at a greater height is actually due to the conversion of the elastic potential energy built in a sling upon stretching the belt and releasing it to the stone.

Slinky

The elastic potential energy of the slinky will convert into kinetic energy even if you give a small perturbation on its end.

Slinky; Image Credit: pixabay

Stretching with Rubber Belt

If you stretch the rubber belt beyond the limit then the elastic potential energy will be converted into the kinetic energy even if the force applied is reduced slightly followed by equal and opposite reaction.

Bouncing Ball

The ball bounces due to its elastic properties of it. The gas molecules filled in the ball undergo elastic collisions.

Rubber Band

Upon stretching the rubber band it will regain its shape giving out the kinetic energy on releasing the pulling forces.

Stretching rubber bands; Image Credit: pixabay

Compressing the Sponge

On compressing the sponge the gas filled in the voids will be released out and the equivalent force is exerted on the hand in a direction opposing the force. Upon releasing the applied force, the sponge regains its original shape.

Spring Shoes

The spring is compressed due to body weight and built the elastic potential energy which is converted into kinetic energy and helps the body to lift up.

String Helicopter

On stretching the string backward, the helicopter accelerates converting the elastic potential energy into kinetic energy.

Prosthetic Legs

As the step is put forward, the prosthetic leg slightly bends and comes back to its original shape. Hence, there is no pressure felt on the body part from where the one wears the prostatic leg, and is comfortable to run as well.

Athletic running with prosthetic legs; Image Credit: pixabay

Springboards

These boards have a spring that helps in locomotion and adjusts the body balance.

Bungee Jump

The rope is stretched developing the elastic potential energy and hence the body bounces once you reach the depth equal to the length of the rope.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the elastic potential energy depend upon the tension force?

The elastic potential energy is built when the object is stretched or compressed.

The tension is developed in the object across the length as it is stretched and at the end of the object on compression.

Is elastic potential energy a kind of potential energy?

The elastic potential energy deals with the object having elastic properties.

The elastic potential energy is potential energy stored by the elastic object on deformation and regains its original configuration as the force is released.

AKSHITA MAPARI

Hi, I’m Akshita Mapari. I have done M.Sc. in Physics. I have worked on projects like Numerical modeling of winds and waves during cyclone, Physics of toys and mechanized thrill machines in amusement park based on Classical Mechanics. I have pursued a course on Arduino and have accomplished some mini projects on Arduino UNO. I always like to explore new zones in the field of science. I personally believe that learning is more enthusiastic when learnt with creativity. Apart from this, I like to read, travel, strumming on guitar, identifying rocks and strata, photography and playing chess. Connect me on LinkedIn - linkedin.com/in/akshita-mapari-b38a68122

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