# Kinetic Energy

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Kinetic Energy
Kinetic Energy:
Consider a baseball flying through the air. The ball is said to have "kinetic energy" by virtue of the fact that its in motion relative to the ground. You can see that it is has energy because it can do "work" on an object on the ground if it collides with it (either by pushing on it and/or damaging it during the collision).
The formula for Kinetic energy, and for some of the other forms of energy described in this section will, is given in a later section of this primer.

Potential Energy: Consider a book sitting on a table. The book is said to have "potential energy" because if it is nudged off, gravity will accelerate the book, giving the book kinetic energy. Because the Earth's gravity is necessary to create this kinetic energy, and because this gravity depends on the Earth being present, we say that the "Earth-book system" is what really possesses this potential energy, and that this energy is converted into kinetic energy as the book falls.

Thermal, or heat energy:
Consider a hot cup of coffee. The coffee is said to possess "thermal energy", or "heat energy" which is really the collective, microscopic, kinetic and potential energy of the molecules in the coffee (the molecules have kinetic energy because they are moving and vibrating, and they have potential energy due their mutual attraction for one another - much the same way that the book and the Earth have potential energy because they attract each other). Temperature is really a measure of how much thermal energy something has. The higher the temperature, the faster the molecules are moving around and/or vibrating, i.e. the more kinetic and potential energy the molecules have.

Chemical Energy:
Consider the ability of your body to do work. The glucose (blood sugar) in your body is said to have "chemical energy" because the glucose releases energy when chemically reacted (combusted) with oxygen. Your muscles use this energy to generate mechanical force and also heat.

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