Potential energy is the energy possessed by an object due to its position or configuration within a force field, typically a gravitational field. It represents the stored energy that can be converted into kinetic energy when the object's position changes.

The formula for gravitational potential energy is:

\[ PE = mgh \]

Where:

- \(PE\) is the potential energy, measured in joules (J)
- \(m\) is the mass of the object, measured in kilograms (kg)
- \(g\) is the acceleration due to gravity, typically 9.8 m/s² on Earth's surface
- \(h\) is the height above a reference point, measured in meters (m)

Let's calculate the potential energy of a 2 kg object raised to a height of 5 meters above the ground:

- Identify the known values:
- Mass (m) = 2 kg
- Gravity (g) = 9.8 m/s²
- Height (h) = 5 m

- Apply the potential energy formula: \[ PE = mgh \]
- Substitute the known values: \[ PE = 2 \text{ kg} \times 9.8 \text{ m/s²} \times 5 \text{ m} \]
- Perform the calculation: \[ PE = 98 \text{ J} \]

Let's visualize the potential energy concept with our example:

This visual representation shows:

- The object with a mass of 2 kg suspended at a height of 5 m above the ground
- The gravitational force (g) acting on the object
- The potential energy (98 J) possessed by the object due to its elevated position

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