Static Energy vs. Kinetic Energy

Difference Between Static Energy and Kinetic Energy

Energy is defined as our ability to do the job. Energy takes many forms and can neither be created nor destroyed. The total energy of the universe remains constant and just changes into different forms of energy as light, heat energy, fuel energy, sound energy etc. Energy can be stored in an object (potential energy), or it may be due to its motion (kinetic energy). Kinetic energy is energy that is a feature of moving objects. Any object with higher kinetic energy will move faster. There is another kind of energy known as the static energy or static electricity that many people tend to get puzzled because of the word static and think of it as being contrary to the kinetic energy which is the result of movement of the object.  This article will clear all such doubts and confusions.

Kinetic energy

The kinetic energy of a moving object depends on both its mass as well as its speed which is calculated using the following formula.

K.E = ½ mv2

This implies that an object, even if tiny can possess very high amount of kinetic energy if it moves at high speed. The bullet has huge impact because of the kinetic energy. On the other hand, when we hit a hammer in a piece of wood, the hammer speed is low but it has a lot of mass to drive the nail inside the wood. In this case, the kinetic energy of the hammer, when it hits the nail is transferred to the nail while a little of that is lost due to friction while some is dissipated as heat and sound that is created when the hammer strikes the nail.

Static energy

Every material is composed of atoms and in normal circumstances all the substances are electrically neutral as the positive charges on the inside of this are offset by the same amount of negative charges. It is because of the equal number of protons (positive charges) and electrons (negative charges) in an atom. Thus all the atoms are electrically neutral and have no net charge. Let us see what happens when you rub an inflated rubber balloon on your head. As mentioned earlier, the rubber ball charges neutralized as it contains an equal number of positive and negative charges. But when the ball is rubbed on the head, some of the loose electrons (negative charges) are leaving surface and remain faithful to the ball making it unstable and negatively charged while the loss of negative charge of our hair that is otherwise neutral makes them positively charged. You can see hair strands sticking out whereas the balloon sticks to the wall. It is because of the static energy (electricity) in the balloon and your hair. The question holds on to their electrons very strongly and so they do not display this static energy while there are some who which have the electrons which makes it possible to lose the electrons.

Static electricity is the imbalance of positive and negative charges. and no energy is really why the term static energy is a misnomer.


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