Energy and Momentum

  • Energy and Momentum


           During this unit, students will learn that energy is the ability to do work.  Students will study potential energy (stored energy or energy of position) and kinetic energy (energy of motion).  Students will learn that the higher an object is above the ground, the more potential energy it has.  They will also learn that the faster an object is moving, the more kinetic energy it has.  Students will briefly review the various forms of energy including sound, light, thermal, chemical, electrical, nuclear, and geothermal energy. 

          Students will learn the Law of Conservation of Energy, which states that energy cannot be created or destroyed under ordinary conditions, but that it can change forms.  We will discuss the fact that energy changes from one form into another whenever work is being done, and the fact that whenever an energy transformation occurs, some energy is always given off in the form of heat energy.

          During the second part of this unit, students will learn that all moving objects have momentum, and that the more momentum an object has, the more difficult it is to stop.  Students will learn that the two factors that affect the momentum of an object are the mass of the object and the velocity with which the object is traveling.  Students will also learn how to calculate the momentum of an object.  (Momentum = Mass X Velocity)

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