A freely falling object eventually stops on reaching the ground. What happens to its kinetic energy?

When an object falls freely, its potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy. When the object hits the ground, its kinetic energy gets converted into heat energy and sound energy.

Explanation

When an object falls freely towards the ground, its potential energy decreases, and kinetic energy increases; as the object touches the ground, all its potential energy becomes kinetic energy. As the object hits the hard ground, all its kinetic energy becomes heat energy and sound energy. It can also deform the ground depending upon the ground’s nature and the amount of kinetic energy possessed by the object.

  • Kinetic energy is a property of a moving object or particle and depends not only on its motion but also on its mass.
  • Potential energy is stored energy that depends upon the relative position of various parts of a system

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