# Question #d603e

Apr 28, 2015

For a simple pendulum, it's is not often easy to find potential.

On the other hand, it is easier and for most cases, more useful to find the change in potential energy

That is, $\Delta \text{Pe}$ instead of just $\text{Pe}$

$\Delta \text{Pe} = m g \Delta h$
$m =$ mass
$g =$ acceleration due to gravity
$\Delta h =$ change in height above the ground

But in fact, if we know the position of the ball above the ground, them we can calculate the Potential energy as $\text{Pe} = m g {x}_{1}$ for example!

$\Delta \text{Pe}$ is more of interest because we can conserve energy.
Like this,
$m g \Delta h = \frac{1}{2} m \Delta {v}^{2}$