What will happened to your kinetic energy if you triple your speed?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

If our speed increases three times, our kinetic energy increases by a factor of nine, that is, our kinetic energy increases nine times.

The kinetic energy is a form, of mechanical energy and it is associated with the movement of the bodies. All body with mass m, which moves with a speed v, has associated a kinetic energy given by the following expression:

Ek = (mv^2)/2


m, is the mass of the body.

v, is the velocity of the body.

The kinetic energy Ek1, for the initial velocity v1 is:

Ek1 = (mv1^2)/2

As we see, the kinetic energy is proportional to the square of the speed. If the initial speed v1 increased three times, the final speed v2, will be:

v2 = 3v1

Then the kinetic energy Ek2, for the speed v2, will be:

Ek2 = (mv2^2)/2 = [m(3v1)^2]/2

Ek2 = 9(mv1^2)/2 = 9(Ek1)

So, when the speed increases three times, the kinetic energy increases nine times.



Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial