Diesel engine.
Diesel cycle

Endothermic engine

Mechanical Energy

Mechanical energy

In physics, mechanical energy is the sum of potential energy and kinetic energy. This energy is associated with the movement and position of an object. The principle of mechanical energy says that in an isolated system where there is only a conservative force, then the magnitude of the mechanical energy is constant.

If an object moves in the opposite direction to the conservative force, then the potential energy increases. It would be the case of a rocket, the conservative force, in this case, it would be the force of gravity. If the velocity of the object changes, then its kinetic energy also changes.

However, in all real systems, non-conservative styles such as friction forces will appear, but often their value is ignored. This makes the value of mechanical energy can be considered constant. In elastic collisions, mechanical energy will be stored, but in non-elastic collisions, part of the mechanical energy is converted into thermal energy, in the form of heat. The relationship between the loss of mechanical energy (dissipation) and the increase in temperatures was discovered by James Prescott Joule.

Many of the tools are used to convert mechanical energy from other forms of energy, such as an electric motor that converts electrical energy into mechanical energy, the electric generator converts mechanical energy into electrical energy and thermal motors or steam engines transform heat into mechanical energy.

Differences in mechanical energy with other types of energy

The grouping of energy into several types often follows the limits of the evaluation branch of the natural sciences. In this sense we could establish the following relationship of types of energy.

  • Chemical energy, is a type of potential energy stored in chemical bonds.
  • Nuclear energy, nuclear energy is the energy stored in interactions between particles within the atomic nucleus. Its advantageously is obtained through the reactions of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.
  • Electromagnetic energy, this type of energy comes in the form of electric charges, magnetic fields and photons. Its development is studied in the field of electromagnetism.
  • Various forms of energy in quantum mechanics; for example, the energy level of an electron inside an atom.
What Is Thermodynamics?
What is thermodynamics?

Thermodynamics studies the movement of heat between a physical system. This study is determined by the laws of thermodynamics.

February 28, 2020

What Is Heat Energy?
Heat energy

Heat energy is the form of energy that any body with a temperature above absolute zero possesses. All thermal energy can be converted into mechanical energy

March 21, 2020

What Is Pressure?
What is pressure?

What is pressure? Pressure is the physical magnitude that measures the instantaneous force on a surface unit, applied perpendicular to it.

February 25, 2020


Electricity encompasses a set of phenomena related to electric charges. This term is also used to designate the branch of physics that studies electrical phenomena and their applications.

July 25, 2018


Cogeneration is the process of simultaneous production of mechanical energy and heat. Heat can be used to heat buildings and / or in industry.

January 10, 2020


A boiler is a container, or a set of tubes, used to heat water or other fluid. To heat the liquid can be used various fuels such as diesel, coal, biomass, etc.

December 12, 2017

What Is A Motor?
What is a motor?

The engine is a machine capable of transforming a source of energy into a mechanical energy or mechanically continuous work, typically used in the field application purposes with the propulsion of various types of vehicles.

May 21, 2018


Published: November 14, 2017
Last review: November 14, 2017