Calculating Kinetic Energy

Formatting Updated 2 December 2011

Basic Kinetic Energy Formula

KE = 0.5 * Mass * Velocity2

Where:

KE: Kinetic Energy in Joules (or foot-pounds)
Mass : Mass of the object in kilograms (or slugs)
Velocity: Velocity of the object in m/sec (or ft/sec)

Working Backwards to Find Mass

Mass = KE / (0.5 * Velocity2)

Working Backwards to Find Velocity

Velocity = SQRT (2 * KE / Mass)

Calculating Kinetic Energy in a Closing Situation

KE = 0.5 * Mass (VMuzzle + VTarget)2

Where:

KE: Kinetic Energy in Joules.
Mass : Mass of the object in kilograms.
VMuzzle: Velocity of the projectile in m/sec
VTarget: Velocity of the target in m/sec

Typical Kinetic Energies

120mm Sabot (1984): 9.8 MJ
125mm Sabot (1980):
7 MJ
125mm Sabot (1972):
6.1 MJ
125mm Sabot (1962):
5.8 MJ
88mm FlaK: 2.8 MJ:
Ford Explorer at 60 MPH: 0.66 MJ