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Physics - Formulas - Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy of a particular object is the energy that is produced due to its motion and mass. The following equation is used to determine the kinetic energy of standard object like paper, cars or planets.

When dealing with very small particles - like atoms and molecules - a slight variation of the equation must be considered:

When determining the energy of an atom or molecule in Astronomy, one can find the velocity of that particle:

This is important for a few reasons, one of which deals with planetary atmospheres. Highly energetic molecules can collide with one another to break them down. Also, highly energetic molecules could exceed the planets escape velocity and evaporate into space.

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