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written by Gregory Bothun
This web page provides an introduction to mechanical energy, focusing on gravity. It includes a java simulation of a dropped ball showing the conversion of potential energy into kinetic energy. Non-elastic collisions with the ground are included, although there is no discussion of the resultant lost energy. Users can change the mass, initial energy, and percentage of the energy lost during collisions.

This item is part of a larger collection of virtual laboratories for physics, astronomy, and environmental science.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in One Dimension
= Gravitational Acceleration
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
= Non-Conservative Forces
= Work
- Lower Undergraduate
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Intended Users Formats Ratings
- Learners
- Educators
- application/java
- text/html
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Access Rights:
Limited free access
Contact University of Oregon for licensing information
© 1994 University of Oregon
Energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, simulation
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created December 3, 2007 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
January 10, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
November 6, 2006
Other Collections:

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
G. Bothun, (1994), WWW Document, (
G. Bothun, Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy (1994), <>.
APA Format
Bothun, G. (2006, November 6). Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy. Retrieved May 25, 2024, from
Chicago Format
Bothun, Gregory. Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy. November 6, 2006. (accessed 25 May 2024).
MLA Format
Bothun, Gregory. Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy. 1994. 6 Nov. 2006. 25 May 2024 <>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Gregory Bothun", Title = {Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {25 May 2024}, Month = {November 6, 2006}, Year = {1994} }
Refer Export Format

%A Gregory Bothun %T Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy %D November 6, 2006 %U %O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Bothun, Gregory %D November 6, 2006 %T Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy %V 2024 %N 25 May 2024 %8 November 6, 2006 %9 application/java %U

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Virtual Laboratory: Potential Energy:

Covers the Same Topic As Ejs Free Fall Cartesian Model

To extend learning, this Open Source Physics (OSP) model provides a platform for students to use the Easy Java Simulation tool to model their own version of a bouncing ball. Gravity can be set at any value from zero to 20, but the physics needs to be right in order for the model to work properly.

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