2
votes
4answers
279 views

Why can't the work done by a non-conservative force be zero?

Why can't the work done by a non-conservative force be zero? The displacement along a closed path is always zero. So, whatever be the type of force, variable or constant, the work has to be zero. Why ...
2
votes
2answers
94 views

Schroedinger equation. Why Potential energy instead of Force?

What is the reason Schroedinger equation is quoted in terms of potential energy instead of force?
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Internal potential energy and relative distance of the particle

Today, I read a line in Goldstein Classical mechanics and got confused about one line. To satisfy the strong law of action and reaction, $V_{ij}$ can be a function only of the distance between ...
0
votes
1answer
159 views

Help understanding a potential energy problem [closed]

Apologies if the following problem does not seem to involve potential energy, it is a homework problem that is labeled under the potential energy chapter. Question While a roofer is working on a ...
0
votes
1answer
155 views

Electrical Potential Energy and Electric Force [closed]

Under certain circumstances, potassium ions $(K+)$ move across the $8.0 nm$ thick cell membrane from the inside to the outside. The potential inside the cell is $−70 mV$ and the potential outside is ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Capacitor's voltage

Imagine I have two plates that form a capacitor, so the magnitude of the charge in each plate is, let's say, $Q$. So, the force, in respect to the distance $d$, is gonna be: $$F(d) = ...
0
votes
1answer
218 views

Calculate magnitude of force acting on some area by falling object

I have simple question: is it possible to calculate magnitude of force acting on some area by falling object? Let's say I have an object with mass $5\text{ kg}$. I drop that object in height 1 ...
1
vote
1answer
776 views

Given a potential energy function, find expression of the force of a particle?

This comes from an AP review packet. I'm given a potential energy functon, $$U(r)=br^{-3/2} + c,$$ where $b$ and $c$ are constants, and need to find the expression for the force on the particle. ...
5
votes
3answers
570 views

Particle coming across a step potential barrier

My quantum mechanics textbook says that when a particle (in the classical case) comes across a potential-step barrier of finite height, if it has sufficient energy to surmount the barrier, it will ...
2
votes
5answers
712 views

Is there a mathematical derivation of potential energy that is *not* rooted in the conservation of energy?

For simplicity I'll consider only gravity, but in general this question only applies to conservative forces. As per my understanding, the way one gets to the equation for gravitational potential ...
3
votes
1answer
180 views

In $\textbf{f} = -\boldsymbol{\nabla} u$, what is $u$?

I know that force is the negative gradient of the potential: $$\textbf{f} = -\boldsymbol{\nabla} u$$ where force $\textbf{f}$ is a vector and $u$ is a scalar. This is a relatively soft question, ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Can a mechanical systems on hold be switched off, in another way than just letting it do it's thing?

Can the value of the potential energy, which is responsible for driving the system, diminish in time, while the system itself is stationary during that time? Can there be dissipation in a system, ...
5
votes
4answers
938 views

what is the 2D gravity potential?

In 3D, I can calculate the total force due to gravity acting on a point on the surface of the unit sphere of constant density, where I choose units so that all physical constants (as well as the ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Rubber Band Forces

I have a question regarding the force a band places on an object. Say I have a rubber band wrapped around 2 pegs at a certain distance, and at that distance I know the pounds of force per inch it is ...
3
votes
3answers
464 views

About constructing potential energy functions

There are many classical systems with different potential functions. My problem is that I do not understand how one can construct a certain potential function for a certain system. Are there any ...
1
vote
2answers
259 views

Could someone remind me what this means again? $\nabla U = \pm F$

You know that for a potential function (conservative force/fields) that $\nabla U = \pm \vec{F}$ In math, we don't have that minus sign, we have only the plus one. What does it mean if you get rid ...