The Energy of Falling Objects (In Slow Motion)

“Ecomagination” and incorrect SI units notwithstanding, this is pretty cool. From GE:

Energy: you can’t destroy it, but you can certainly waste it. That’s what most motorized vehicles do, including trains. Usually, the energy generated when you stop a moving vehicle is dissipated as heat, and is lost to the atmosphere. With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it – that’s how our hybrid systems work. Watch the video to see a simple illustration of the physics behind dynamic braking. Keep in mind an object’s force is measured in newtons, using the equation force = Mass x Acceleration.

*The Newton is a unit of force. Joule is the SI unit for energy. Thanks to several people for pointing this out.

Adafruit publishes a wide range of writing and video content, including interviews and reporting on the maker market and the wider technology world. Our standards page is intended as a guide to best practices that Adafruit uses, as well as an outline of the ethical standards Adafruit aspires to. While Adafruit is not an independent journalistic institution, Adafruit strives to be a fair, informative, and positive voice within the community – check it out here:

Join Adafruit on Mastodon

Adafruit is on Mastodon, join in!

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Join over 36,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community!

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers –

Maker Business — “Packaging” chips in the US

Wearables — Enclosures help fight body humidity in costumes

Electronics — Transformers: More than meets the eye!

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Silicon Labs introduces CircuitPython support, and more! #CircuitPython #Python #micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Guardian Robot, Weather-wise Umbrella Stand, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — #NewProds 7/19/23 Feat. Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 CircuitPython Powered Internet Display!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !


  1. Energy Transferred from breaking a train:
    More than a million newtons

    Pretty sure you want joules there…

  2. “With GE’s ecomagination we’ve discovered that you can capture and store that energy, then reuse it”

    Discovered? Regenerative dynamic braking has been in use on railroads since the 1950’s.

  3. Neat Video. Pretty serious error on the units but not as goofy as I’ve seen. Once the local paper once published an article where they said that Micron refreshed their DRAM with little fans blowing on them! Sometimes engineer jokes shouldn’t be shared with the general public.

  4. The actual video was so cool that I did not catch what it was about… 🙂

    My kids will love it and now we will have a discussion on conservation of energy. Just had one on conservation of mass this morning with my 12 yr old as we tried to get all the garbage and recyclables into the car. “Smashing it into cubes does not reduce the cost of disposal because the mass stays the same”.

  5. Wonderful motion graphics on a subject useful to beginner animators as
    well as my VXF students.. soo nice to see numbers and a bit of physics in a

    Faraday said it best – Nothing is too wonderful to be true.


  6. presidentpicker

    nice high speed video. So how the heck does this system work? I was waiting for some explanation and it never came. Surely trains don’t use falling watermelons for braking 🙂

  7. does anybody know what is the background music?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.