The energy stored in an object is a result of a change in its relative position. This means that although stored energy does not manifest at the present time, a change in your situation can make it have a real effect in the physical world. Potential Energy
A simple way to explain this definition in a practical way is through the example of a body that is situated at a certain height from the ground. In this case, the body has potential energy, because if it drops to the ground, it means that it will be able to move or even deform such objects. These movements and deformations will be potential the greater the height.
Following the above example, a stone suspended by a rope has potential energy as a result of its position, as it can do this work by falling. Although, in reality, anybody that is at a certain height can have potential energy. The energy difference comes from body mass and situated height.
This height dependence is extremely linked to the gravitational force, which is called gravitational potential energy. Thus, it can be said that the potential energy of an object depends on both its mass and the force of attraction exerted on the Earth.
Even so, it can be presented in several ways, as the example of an electric battery shows, as well as the firing of a rifle, since the potential energy of the gunpowder is transformed by the kinetic energy of the bullet. Thus, what can be deduced is that it can be transformed into other types of energy, such as the kinetics of the previous example and light or heat in the case of an explosive.
How can we calculate gravitational potential energy?
The way to express the previous example mathematically is quite simple. If the potential energy (EP) of an object is directly related to its mass (m) and its relative position or height (h), it can be said that: EP = mh
But this formula would be incomplete if we didn’t include the constant force of gravity (g).
Therefore, the real formula for calculating gravitational potential energy is:
EP = mhg