word du jour: KINETIC

Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines KINETIC as:

the forces and energy associated with the motion of material bodies

The hell you say!  How can you use that word in a sentence.  Well…  right now I am going to use the help of Wikipedia:

The cars of a roller coaster reach their maximum kinetic energy when at the bottom of their path. When they start rising, the kinetic energy begins to be converted to gravitational potential energy, but the total amount of energy in the system remains constant; assuming negligible friction and other energy conversion factors.


In layman’s terms, let’s say your car breaks down on the side of the road and every time a car goes by, your car is “pushed” by the air that is displaced by the other cars passing.  I’m pretty sure that is also considered kinetic energy.

2 thoughts on “word du jour: KINETIC

  1. If you are travelling at 100 mph in your car, and your car is 100% efficient with no friction and no drag from airflow etc., then, on a dead level road, it will continue at the same speed indefinitely if you knock it out of gear.

    Of course, if you’ve seen a cop with a radar gun, then you’re going to hit the brakes and slow down very rapidly, requiring an input of energy equal to your car’s kinetic energy at 100mph-the kinetic energy at your final speed. Therefore, spotting a traffic cop often produces a sharp reduction in kinetic energy.


  2. Kinetic and roller coaster encourage visions in my mind of the roller coaster taking all its kinetic energy and gravitational potential and flying off the track through the air and into the power lines. Which is why I don’t ride roller coasters. Plus the fact that they make me throw up. Hell, ferris wheels make me throw up. How damned kinetic is that?!


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