The word kinetic is derived from the Greek word “kinesis” meaning motion. When an object is moving, it possess energy and such energy is called kinetic energy. The object includes very large things, like planets, and very small ones, like atoms. Heavier objects moves faster and have more kinetic energy. Kinetic energy may be best understood by examples that demonstrate how it is transformed to and from other forms of energy.

Kinetic energy Definition

  • Kinetic energy is one of many types of energy that exist. This is energy generated because something is moving — the faster it's going, the more kinetic energy it has. A person sitting has no kinetic energy, but a person running like a maniac has tremendous kinetic energy: 

  • The energy possessed by a body because of its motion, equal to one half the mass of the body times the square of its speed.



Kinetic energy Definition

  • The amount of kinetic energy KE of an object in translational motion is equal to one-half the product of its mass m and the square of its velocity v.

  • Kinetic energy is given as follows,

    Kinetic energy = ½(mv2)


Kinetic energy Unit

  • Kinetic energy is measured in the units of joules.

  • One joule is the amount of work done when an applied force of 1 newton moves through a distance of 1 metre in the direction of the force.

  • Kinetic energy is a scalar quantity.

  • Kinetic energy does not have a direction.


Types of kinetic energy

Three types of kinetic energy are available. They are

  • Rotational Kinetic Energy 
  • Translational Kinetic Energy 
  • Vibrational Kinetic Energy 


Rotational kinetic energy definition

Rotational kinetic energy occurs when matter spins around an axis. The second hand on a watch exhibits rotational energy. The Earth has rotational energy as it spins around its axis.

Translational Kinetic Energy  definition

Translational Kinetic Energy  is when something is moving in a straight line, like driving your car down the road. It is also when molecules of air are flying around us all the time (even though we can't see or feel them). 

Vibrational Kinetic Energy  definition

Vibrational Kinetic Energy  is Vibrational energy through Vibrational motion. Think of a spring joining two weights together. You pull on one of the weights far away and then watch them swing back and forth, towards and away from each other. This is also the same kind of motion that atoms when they are joined together to form molecules.

Definition Kinetic Energy


Definition Kinetic Energy



Steam energy


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