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Homework Help: Explaination of Potential,Kinetic,and Total Enrgy involving going up a hill.

  1. Nov 16, 2009 #1
    Explanation of a cart rolling up a hill as it relates to Kinetic energy,total energy,and potential ener?
    For example lets saywe have a cart rolling up a hill:

    A)Why is the kinetic energy highest at the bottom of the hill ?
    B)Why is the total energy the same throughout?
    C)Why is the potential energy of gravity the highest at the top of the hill?

    Logically I thought that potential energy was highest at the bottom since it is stored energy would have be the highest at rest and kinetic energy would be highest at the top because its moving. Don't have a idea about total energy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 16, 2009 #2
    Which has the potential to do more work? An object on top of a hill or at the bottom?

    If you shove a cart and then allow it to roll freely up a hill, at what point is it moving the fastest? The slowest?

    Kinetic energy is the energy of motion. An object has more kinetic energy when it is moving faster. The cart rolling up the hill is trading one form of energy for another, but the total energy will remain the same.
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