Which will have a higher kinetic energy a bicycle or a truck if both have the same velocity?

1 Answer

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t-nez | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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A truck will have more kinetic energy than a bicycle traveling at the same velocity, because the truck has more mass. Mass factors into kinetic energy as follows:

 `KE = 1/2 mv^2`

So if the truck has 100 times the mass of the bicycle it will have 100 times the kinetic energy at the same speed. Note that an increase in velocity has a bigger impact on kinetic energy, since kinetic energy is directly proportional to the square of velocity. If a vehicle is moving at twice the speed of another vehicle with the same mass it will have four times the kinetic energy.