Potential and Chemical Energy

Just as two balls can have different energies, two molecules can have different energies. There are many different kinds of energy. On the left there is a picture of two balls. The balls in the picture have different energies because of their positions. This is called potential energy. On the right there are two symbols representing molecules. Because individual molecules are too small to see with the naked eye, we will be using different shapes to represent molecules of different energy. In the picture on the right, molecules A and B have different energies because of the way their atoms are connected (how they are held together). This is another form of potential energy, called chemical energy.

Click on the ball that has more potential energy.