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In this section, we will discuss the concept of potential energy through activity.
  • Take a toy car. Wind it using its key.
  • Place the car on the ground.
Did it move?
  • Yes, it moves when placed on the ground.
From where did it acquire energy?
  • It acquires energy from the elastic potential energy of the spring.
Does the energy acquire depend on the number of windings?
  • Yes, the energy gained by the toy depends on the number of windings of the spring. When the spring of the toy is wound more, it stores more potential energy.
How can you test this?
  • In order to test it, give five windings to the spring of the toy and find the distance it covers on the ground. When ten windings are given to the spring of the toy, the toy covers a much large distance.
In the above case, the energy gets stored due to work done on the object. The energy transferred to an object is stored as potential energy if it is not used to cause a change in the velocity or speed of the object.
The potential energy possessed by the object is the energy present in it by virtue of its position or configuration.