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Channel-TalkEnergy
From: Theron Blakeslee (Theron.Blakeslee@jcisd.org)
Date: Thu Dec 12 2002 - 15:38:20 EST

  • Next message: Alaaddin Akgul: "[Channel-talkenergy] Hands on Activity about Forms of energy"

    It's really confusing to talk about levers in this way - in terms of potential energy. A lever itself doesn't have potential energy (except of course if you lift the whole lever up above the ground and use it as a single object). A lever has a load (an object) at one end, and something exerting a force at the other end. If the thing that exerts the force to lift the load is an object, then that object has potential energy if it is up off the ground. Objects have potential energy because of their position above the ground and their weight. If the load is resting on the ground, it has no potential energy.

    If a lever is balanced, like a see-saw, with a heavy object on the ground and a lighter object in the air, farther from the fulcrum, the lighter object has some potential energy while the heavy object has none. If the balanced see-saw is moved so that the heavy object is in the air and the lighter object is on the ground, the heavy object now has as much potential energy as the lighter object had, and the lighther object now has none.

    In Mousetrap, if a ball falls off a ledge and hits a lever, the ball had potential energy before it fell off the ledge, and it loses potential energy on its way down. But it gains kinetic energy as its speed increases. When it hits the lever, it exerts a force, which can lift the load on the other end of the lever. It's the falling ball that had potential energy, not the lever itself.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Larry Sherer [mailto:mcoe_lcs@ACCESS-K12.org]
    Sent: Thursday, December 12, 2002 11:45 AM
    To: Petersons
    Cc: channel-talkenergy@learner.org
    Subject: Re: [Channel-talkenergy] Forms of energy

    TWIMC:
            A lever would only have potential energy if it were in an unstable
    position such as a formerly balanced lever that has just become unbalanced
    because a load (resistance) has fallen of the lever.

    Larry

    --On Wednesday, December 11, 2002, 10:08 PM -0700 Petersons
    <bikedoctor@citlink.net> wrote:

    > BLOCKQUOTE { PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px } DL { PADDING-BOTTOM:
    > 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px } UL { PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px } OL {
    > PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px; PADDING-TOP: 0px } LI { PADDING-BOTTOM: 0px;
    > PADDING-TOP: 0px }
    >
    > I was studying the energy transformations and forms of energy in the game
    > "Mouse trap"
    >
    > this toy made me wonder - does a lever have potential energy, just by
    > being a lever?
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Alison Reid
    > To: channel-talkenergy@learner.org
    > Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 7:40 AM
    > Subject: [Channel-talkenergy] Rube Goldberg-like contraptions
    >
    >
    > Dear Linda,
    >
    >
    > Have you tried the "Cat-traption" on the Energy site
    > (http://www.learner.org/workshops/energy/cattraption/)? It's an
    > animated version of the Rube Goldberg-like contraption used in
    > demonstrations on the videos. There's also a Web highlight about it, with
    > a challenge, at
    > http://www.learner.org/workshops/energy/workshop3/icon1.html .
    >
    >
    > I'd love to know if that's useful to you, especially since you find the
    > Rube Goldberg contraptions helpful to your teaching already.
    >
    >
    > -Alison Reid
    > Annenberg Channel Webmaster
    >
    > Hello again! I like the Mouse Trap idea for my simple machines unit. I
    > use pictures of the Rube Goldberg contraptions to identify simple
    > machines and energy transfer. The kids love the contraptions. I found
    > the pics on a Rube Goldberg internet web site. Linda
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    >
    >
    > -----------------------------------
    > Alison Reid
    > Web Specialist
    > Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
    > 60 Garden St., MS82
    > Cambridge, MA 02138
    > Tel: 617-496-7680

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