In physics, the potential energy of an object is the energy
which it possesses due to its position or its orientation with respect to a
field of forces. [1] In the case of a system, the potential energy can depend
by the arrangement of the elements that compose it. [2] It can be seen also as
the potential energy capacity of an object (or system) to transform its energy
into another form of energy, such as the kinetic energy.

The term "potential energy" was coined by Rankine in 1853. In the international system is measured in joules (J).

It is a scalar function of the coordinates of the object in
the reference system used. Given a conservative vector field, the potential
energy is its capacity to do work: the work relating to a force acting on an
object is the line integral of the second kind of force evaluated on the path
taken by the object, and if it is conservative value of this integral does not
depend on the type of path followed. When it has to do with conservative forces
can be defined as a scalar potential, which is sometimes made to coincide with
the potential energy, defined in the whole space. In particular, from the
mathematical point of view this potential exists only if the force is
conservative, and the rest is assumed that for all the conservative forces can
always define a potential energy physically.