energy is contained in materials and objects that can stretch
when a force is placed on them and then later return to
their original shape. A graphic of the most well known type
of spring is shown below. The spring starts at an unstretched
or equilibrium position (x=0). As the spring is stretched
from this equilibrium position, spring energy is stored
in the spring. The spring can be held until the spring is
released and the spring energy is also released. Therefore,
spring energy is a form of potential energy.
materials and objects can act like springs and contain spring
energy that can look very different than the typical spring
below. Some other examples of objects that act to store
spring energy are: a trampoline, shock absorbers, a sling
shot, a stretched rubber band, a bow pulled back with an
arrow, the tennis strings in tennis or other racquet as
the ball hits them, and spandex in your pants.