Physics Final Study Guide: Chapter 11

Law of conservation of energy
Within a closed, isolated system, energy can change form, but the total amount of energy is constant

Reference level
The position at which the potential energy is defined to be zero

Mechanical energy
The sum of the kinetic and gravitational potential energy of a system

Kinetic energy
The energy of motion, measure in joules

Gravitational potential energy
Energy store in an Earth-object system as a result of gravitational attractions between the object and Earth

Inelastic collision
A collision in which the the kinetic energy decreases

Rotational kinetic energy
Energy that depends on an object’s moment of inertia and its angular velocity

Thermal energy
Energy that usually makes the temperature of colliding objects rise slightly

Elastic collision
A collision in which the kinetic energy doesn’t change

Elastic potential energy
The energy in a compressed spring or a stretched rubber band