Energy and force



  • What is the difference between 'energy' and 'force'?



  • @Indranil
    Forces, you can say, are instances where energy is passed form one object to another. For example, when you push something, you are transfering energy from yourself to the object to make it move. When you try to slow something down, you are transfering energy from yourself to make the object slow down. You might wonder why you transfer energy from yourself to the body in both cases; this is because the effect of a force also depends on the direction in which it is applied.
    This is not, I should mention, the textbook explanation of a force; however, it does simplify things somewhat, which was my motive in using it.

    Energy, however, is the capability to do some work. If an object has no energy, it cannot do any work. Forces and energy are completely different, because energy is a component of force; a force is never part of energy. Kinetic energy is energy because it is used to make the object move; in other words make it do some work.

    Potential energy, however, is a different concept altogether. Potential energy is best explained with an example. Suppose you hold a ball over the ground. If you drop the ball, the ball will fall to the ground i.e. it is doing some work. However, we might ask ourselves where this energy is coming from, since we certainly haven't pushed it or anything. In this case, the energy comes from the force of gravity, and this kind of energy is called potential energy.


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