Enter the mass (kg), the initial height (m), and the final height (m) into the calculator to determine the Increase in Potential Energy. 

Increase in Potential Energy Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the Increase in Potential Energy.

dPE = m*g*(H2-H1)
  • Where dPE is the Increase in Potential Energy (J)
  • m is the mass (kg) 
  • H1 is the initial height (m) 
  • H2 is the final height (m) 
  • g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.81 m/s^2)

To calculate the increase in potential energy, multiply the mass by the acceleration due to gravity, then multiply by the change in height.

How to Calculate an Increase in Potential Energy?

The following example problems outline the steps and information needed to calculate the Increase in Potential Energy.

Example Problem #1

  1. First, determine the mass (kg). In this example, the mass (kg) is determined to be 4 .
  2. Next, determine the initial height (m). For this problem, the initial height (m) is measured to be 10 .
  3. Next, determine the final height (m). In this case, the final height (m) is found to be 20.
  4. Finally, calculate the Increase in Potential Energy using the formula above: 

dPE = m*g*(H2-H1)

Inserting the values from above and solving the equation yields: 

dPE = 4*9.81*(20-10) = 392.4 (J)


Example Problem #2

Using the same method as above, first, we need to measure or determine the variables required by the equation. For this example problem, these are provided as follows: 

mass (kg) = 5

initial height (m) = 20

final height (m) = 30

Enter these given values into the calculator or above yields: 

dPE = 5*9.81*(30-20) = 490.5 (J)