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Kinetic Energy Explained


In physics, the kinetic energy of an object is the energy which it possesses due to its motion.
It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes.

Energy occurs in many forms, including chemical energy, thermal energy, electromagnetic radiation, gravitational energy, electric energy, elastic energy, nuclear energy, and rest energy. These can be categorized in two main classes: potential energy and kinetic energy. 

Kinetic energy may be best understood by examples that demonstrate how it is transformed to and from other forms of energy. For example, a cyclist uses chemical energy provided by food to accelerate a bicycle to a chosen speed. On a level surface, this speed can be maintained without further work, except to overcome air resistance and friction. The chemical energy has been converted into kinetic energy, the energy of motion, but the process is not completely efficient and produces heat within the cyclist - Source: Wiki 



David and Goliath 

Anyone who attended Sunday school as a child, or indeed I would contend the average American in general has heard the Biblical story of David and Goliath. This is an incredible story of a young Israelite shepherd boy full of God’s power defeating a giant Philistine, Goliath, in combat. Such a story is interesting on many points, but there is one in particular that few people talk about that I would like to analyze; the physics behind the event.
First Kill
1 Samuel 17 David and Goliath 48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead

Second Kill
David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him,and cut off his head therewith.  

How did David kill Goliath? (Stone or Sword?
Answer: with the Stone and the Goliath's Sword.

Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground -
1 Samuel 17:49.

stone = 'eben =  stones containing metal (ore), tool for work or weapon

sank = taba` = to pierce or sink into

forehead = metsach = brow or forehead

"The sling rendered the big man unconscious, the sword killed him."

We also know that David used his sling – not a sling shot, as it is sometimes confused. Before engaging in battle, David picked five stones for the ensuing dust-up. In 1 Samuel 17:40 it says, “Then he (David) took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.”  

The trash talking ensued between the two, and then David approached the giant. In 1 Samuel 17:49 we find,” Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he (David) slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead (emphasis mine) and he fell facedown on the ground.” 

 Not likely; not likely at all. 

 First, the frontal bone in the forehead area is very thick. Since bone can vary depending upon diet, ethnicity, gender and exercise, the forehead frontal bone of Goliath may well have been thicker than that of the rest of us.   Second, there is no fat or muscle in the forehead area for a sling stone to sink into. The stone as described would have had to have crushed the immediate part of the forehead where the stone struck. Admittedly, sling stones varied, according to research done on slings and warfare with slings. The stone - either round or the later styles of football shape - would range from about two ounces to about one pound.  

The killing or wounding would come from the kinetic energy, which is a combination of mass and velocity of the stone. Larger stones might kill more effectively with more kinetic energy, but would also be less likely to sink into a forehead, as Biblically described.  In any case, the velocity of the stone probably would be less than that of a .22 bullet, which ranges around 1,000 feet per second or a little more for a long rifle casing. And it is known that while a .22 can kill, it often depends upon the angle of the bullet, distance, type of bullet used, and similar factors. It is possible to get a glancing blow and no bone penetration of the forehead from a .22 bullet or certainly no penetration from a slung stone.  It is also possible that with the right mass and velocity of the stone and David’s skill, the stone to the forehead merely stunned Goliath or knocked him unconscious for the few seconds that it took for David to grab Goliath’s sword and cut off his head.

David defeated Goliath by striking him on the forehead with a stone from a slingshot. How did David do it? The key quantities are the energy and speed of the stone. The greater the energy, the greater the damage to the target (Goliath's head), and the greater the speed, the less likely Goliath will be able to dodge the stone. This Demonstration shows energy being transferred to the elastic bands of the slingshot and then to the stone as energy of motion (kinetic energy). You can vary the mass of the stone and the strength of the bands. - Source


"Could David had kill Goliath in precisely the way the Bible described."
- Source

You can generate maximum energy and maximum speed by using a light stone and strong bands. However, you may have noticed that the kinetic energy transferred to the stone does not depend upon its mass! This may seem strange, but it is the direct result of the principle of conservation of energy, the key to understanding the physics of this process. The energy generated by the shooter's arms is stored in the elastic bands as the stone is drawn back, its amount depending only on the interaction between the shooter and the elastic bands. After the slingshot is released, it is assumed that all of the stored elastic energy is transferred to the stone as kinetic energy. The kinetic energy of the stone is related to both its mass and speed (KE=1/2 mv2). As a result, light stones shot from a slingshot move faster, but both light and heavy stones carry the same kinetic energy

 David prophesied to Goliath his own death.

Don't Believe? 

Before the Kill
This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel - 1 Samuel 17:46.

 So we know that David increased the velocity of the stone by adding to the initial velocity by running, we also see that the stone hit Goliath in the forehead, a relatively unprotected area as the helmets of the time did not cover much of the forehead. Goliath apparently had some forward momentum, enough that even after the stone had sank into his forehead and knocked him unconscious, his body still continued moving forward until crashing into the ground moments later. The stone must have done considerable damage but it did not kill Goliath, David ran over and picked up Goliath’s sword and killed him with it. - Source

Keywords: Kinetic Energy, Explained, Origins, Science, Physics, Speed, Mass

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