) The energy
required to initiate
. For example, the flame from the fuse
of a firecracker
provides a small initial amount of energy, after which the explosive reaction proceeds by itself, releasing a considerably larger quantity of energy. A small push given to a stable but top-heavy object may cause it to fall over; the potential energy released during the fall was present in the system all along but could not be realized as long as the object was upright and balanced.