What is total mechanical energy
What is total mechanical energy

Lets understand the basics of Total mechanical energy and then move towards some advance topics like its formula and some complimentory terms.

To answer your question…

What is Total mechanical energy?

The mechanical energy of an object can be the result of its motion like “kinetic energy” and/or the result of its stored energy of position means “potential energy”.

Mechanical energy describes the ability of an object to do work. The work done on an object arises from a force applied over a distance (W=F x d) which either accelerates the object, thus changing its kinetic energy, or stores energy by changing its position (potential energy).

For instance, when a moving car is brought to rest, the work done by the frictional force on the tires is equal to the kinetic energy of the car,

Kinetic Energy =1/2 mv2

In addition, forces which are provided by the car’s engine can do work in climbing up a hill which is stored as gravitational potential energy

Potential Energy= mgh

Definition of Total Mechanical Energy.

The total amount of mechanical energy is merely the sum of the potential energy and the kinetic energy. This sum is simply referred to as the total mechanical energy.

What is total mechanical energy formula

The mechanical energy of an object is equal to the sum of the potential energy of an object and kinetic energy possed.

E = PE + KE


  • E= Total mechanicsl energy
  • PE= Potential energy
  • KE= Kinetic energy

Total mechanical energy formula is a direct measure of the total energy available to an object as its speed and position changes from one point to another.

Now, we’ve seen what is Total mechanical energy. lets see some terms used above.

What are some example of mechanical energy conversion?

A simple Examples of Conservation of mechanical energy would be as following.

  • Rubbing your hands together converts mechanical energy to thermal energy.
  • Turning on a light switch converts mechanical energy to electrical and radiant energy.
  • Digesting food converts mechanical energy to chemical energy

What is potential energy?

An object can store energy as the result of its position.

For example, the heavy ball of a demolition machine is storing energy when it is held at an elevated position. This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy.

Similarly, a drawn bow is able to store energy as the result of its position. When assuming its usual position (i.e., when not drawn), there is no energy stored in the bow. Yet when its position is altered from its usual equilibrium position, the bow is able to store energy by virtue of its position.

Potential energy formula

Potential Energy= mgh


  • m = mass of a body
  • g = acceleration due to gravity
  • h= height of the body from the ground.

This stored energy of position is referred to as potential energy. Potential energy is the stored energy of position possessed by an object.

What is kinetic energy

Kinetic energy is the energy of motion.

An object that has motion, whether it is vertical or horizontal motion it has kinetic energy. There are many forms of kinetic energy – vibrational (the energy due to vibrational motion), rotational (the energy due to rotational motion), and translational (the energy due to motion from one location to another).

We will focus upon translational kinetic energy. The amount of kinetic energy that an object has depends upon two variables: the mass (m) of the object and the speed (v) of the object. The following equation is used to represent the kinetic energy (KE) of an object.

Potential energy formula

Kinetic Energy =1/2 mv2
 m = mass of object
v = speed of object

This equation reveals that the kinetic energy of an object is directly proportional to the square of its speed. 


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here