# What is Potential Energy? How is it calculated?

The latent energy in a stationary object is called potential energy and is one of the two types of energy. Kinetic energy is the energy released in a moving object. Potential energy is a prominent concept in discussions about physics and is one of the most important variables in the formulas we use to describe the universe.

Potential energy essentially fits its own definition, although it has a few complex aspects. The actual potential energy of an object depends on its position relative to other objects. For example, the potential energy of a brick is greater when it is at the top of a two-story building. This is because the farther the brick is from the Earth, the more energy it contains. Two bricks next to each other don’t give each other extra energy because there is no force applied to them.

The same rule can be applied in any dimension, such as the galactic or atomic dimension. Atoms contain potential energy, but because they are constantly in motion, the potential energy they contain turns into kinetic energy.

## How is Potential Energy Calculated?

Energy refers to the ability of an object or system to do work. There are many types of energy, including mechanical, thermal, chemical and nuclear. The work we mentioned in the first sentence is the transfer of energy from one body to another and it is related to kinetic energy. Power is the rate of energy that two or more objects transfer to each other. These concepts are interrelated. To understand one concept, it is necessary to understand other concepts. Energy and work are measured in “joule”. The name of this unit comes from physicist James Prescott Joule, who gave meaning to energy transfer formulas. Energy and work are measured in the same unit. Because they’re kind of the same thing. Work is energy in motion. Power is measured in watts. The name of this unit comes from the Scottish inventor James Watts. Wattage is a measure of the heat produced. Heat is produced when energy is transferred. The faster the energy transfer, the more heat is produced.

You can animate this interaction with your hands. When it’s cold, you can rub your left and right hands together to generate heat. Imagine how fast your hands could vibrate. The more energy is used, the more work is done. So work requires more power, so more heat is produced.

The potential energy of an object is the measurement of the potential of that object to do work and produce heat and power. Therefore, the sum of the mass of an object, its distance from the Earth, its electrical charge, its distance from other objects and its internal mechanical energy corresponds to the potential energy of that object. In simple terms, this formula can be represented as: Potential Energy = mgh, where m is mass, measured in kilograms; g is the acceleration caused by gravity (9.8 m/s^2 at the Earth’s surface); h is the height, measured in meters.