# Graph of Kinetic Energy v. Displacement of a Falling Object

by brendan3eb
Tags: displacement, energy, falling, graph, kinetic, object
 P: 54 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data Draw and label a graph with energy for the y axis and displacement for the x axis of the kinetic energy and potential energy of an object in free-fall that started with a horizontal speed of 30 m/s from a height of 80 m. 2. Relevant equations U=mgh k=1/2mv^2 3. The attempt at a solution I drew a straight line with negative slope for potential energy because m and g are constants in U=mgh, so it should be a linear graph, as for kinetic energy, I am sitting on the fence on whether or not to draw a straight line or a curve The v^2 makes me want to draw a curve, however, if the the potential energy is a straight line and K = E - U, then shouldn't k be directly proportional to displacement as well?
Mentor
P: 40,251
 Quote by brendan3eb The v^2 makes me want to draw a curve, however, if the the potential energy is a straight line and K = E - U, then shouldn't k be directly proportional to displacement as well?
Good thinking!

Why not use a bit of kinematics to double check? What's the relationship between v (or v^2) and displacement for a falling object?
 P: 54 ahh.. v^2=v0^2+2a(x-x0) but since initial velocity in the y direction is 0 v^2=-2g(x-x0) and since -2g is a constant, v^2 is directly proportional to displacement, and thus kinetic energy is directly proportional to displacement! Thanks Doc Al!

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