Enter any three values of the initial and final kinetic energy of a system to calculator the missing value.


The following equation describes the relationship of kinetic and potential energy due to the conservation of energy.

Ki  + Ui = Kf + Uf 
  • Where Ki is the initial kinetic energy
  • Ui is the initial potential energy
  • Kf is the final kinetic energy
  • Uf is the final potential energy

This formula describes the relations of potential and kinetic energy simply, but conservation of energy is also used in thermodynamics to calculate work and heat generated from systems.

Conservation of Energy Definition

Conservation of energy is a law of physics that states energy must be conserved within a closed system and energy cannot be created or destroyed.

Conservation of Energy Example

How to calculate a conservation of energy?

  1. First, determine the initial potential energy.

    Calculate the initial potential energy.

  2. Next, determine the final kinetic energy.

    Calculate the final kinetic energy.

  3. Next, determine the final potential energy.

    Calculate the final potential energy.

  4. Finally, calculate the initial kinetic energy.

    Calculate the initial kinetic energy using the formula above.


What is conservation of energy?

The conservation of energy is a law of physics that states that in a closed system, energy must be conserved. For example, like the equation above, the kinetic energy and potential energy of a CLOSED system cannot change without an outside force or without the system acting on an outside object.

What is kinetic energy?

Kinetic energy describes the total amount of energy contained within a system due to translational movement.

What is potential energy?

Potential energy is the amount of energy contained in a system due to things like gravitational force and internal chemical reactions.