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What is the formula for elastic potential energy?

The formula for elastic potential energy is 1/2kx^2, where k is the spring constant and x is the displacement.

Elastic potential energy is the energy stored in an object when it is stretched or compressed. This energy is proportional to the amount of deformation and the stiffness of the object. The formula for elastic potential energy is derived from Hooke's law, which states that the force exerted by a spring is directly proportional to its displacement from equilibrium. The constant of proportionality is known as the spring constant, k.

The formula for elastic potential energy is given by E = 1/2kx^2, where E is the elastic potential energy, k is the spring constant, and x is the displacement from equilibrium. The factor of 1/2 arises from the fact that the force exerted by the spring is proportional to the square of its displacement. This formula can be used to calculate the elastic potential energy stored in a spring, as well as in other elastic materials such as rubber bands and bungee cords.

Understanding the behaviour of materials under forces is crucial, and you can learn more about deformation under forces to see how different materials react to stress and strain.

Elastic potential energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as kinetic energy, when the object is released from its stretched or compressed state. This conversion of energy is what allows objects to bounce or vibrate. The formula for elastic potential energy is therefore an important tool for understanding the behaviour of elastic materials and the transfer of energy between different forms.

To further explore the types of energy and their transformations, you might find it useful to check the page on types of energy.

Additionally, understanding how this potential energy plays into the larger context of energy in simple harmonic motion can provide deeper insights into physics concepts related to oscillatory systems.


A-Level Physics Tutor Summary: Elastic potential energy is the energy an object holds when stretched or squashed, calculated with E = 1/2kx^2. 'k' represents the object's stiffness, and 'x' is how much it's stretched or squished. This formula helps us understand how energy changes form, like from potential to kinetic energy, which is useful in studying springs and similar materials.

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