Potential energy is the energy of a body or a system due to the position of the body or the arrangement of the particles of the system.

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Conservation and forces/energy

Are there really non-conservative forces in actuality ? Feynman states in his book that in fact, all forces are conservative ( originating from conservative vector-fields ), provide we look close ...
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Isolation of a Physical System and Energy

I'm trying to grasp basic concepts of energy and i have a little doubt regarding conservation of energy. According to Feynman book and Wikipedia, the Law of Conservation of Energy states that ...
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Energy density in electrostatics

Imagine two hollow spheres with radius $R$ with charges $q$ and $-q$. $L>2R$ is distance between them. Potential energy of the each sphere is \begin{equation*} W_1=\frac 1{8\pi \epsilon_0}\frac ...
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How do I correctly introduce time into this equation?

So, for the past few years it's been my goal to create an equation that would give me the position of an object in a gravitational field at time $t$, given it's initial position and velocity. At first ...
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Using Electric Potential to Float an Object

I've been trying to answer the following question but I'm stuck at one step. The question essentially states that a magician is trying to perform a "floating objects" act, for which she has a thin ...
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56 views

How much energy does it take to hold a bag? [duplicate]

I'm holding a bag with some mass $m$. The force required for not letting it fall is equal to its weight $m \cdot g_L$ (where $g_L$ is the local gravity, assuming Earth this is $\approx 9.8 \; \text{m} ...
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What starts the conversion between GPE and KE?

When researching GPE and KE conversion, lots of websites say that as an object with GPE (Gravitational Potential Energy) falls, that GPE is converted into KE (Kinetic Energy), so there is less GPE and ...
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In atoms, what is potential energy?

I was reading about how potential energy in atoms is measured by how far apart they are from one another. From what I have heard of potential energy, it's a way of showing how fast an object could ...
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How can energy be partitioned equally when energy is relative?

According to the Equipartition theorem in a system at equilibrium the energy should be on average be divided equally between the available degrees of freedom. The most common examples are the three ...
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Why is the gravitational potential energy of ideal uniform massive spring $mgx/2$, not $mgx$?

In this Wikipedia page, $$L= T-V = \frac{1}{2}\frac{m}{3}\dot{x}^2 + \frac{1}{2}M \dot{x}^2 - \frac{1}{2} k x^2 - \frac{m g x}{2} - M g x$$ where $mgx/2$ refers to gravitational potential energy of ...
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How does gravitational potential energy increase, if field decreases as $h$ increases?

(In the following constants are ommitted) Let $ M = 50, m = 5, h = 5$. Then $$ \text{Potential Energy} = \frac{50\cdot5}{5} = 50.$$ While after increasing the height $h$: $ M = 50 , m =5, h =10 ...
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What happens to KE when lowering a raised book?

I understand the conservation of energy theorem and mechanical energy, but there is this question that confused me a bit, so I hope someone explains it. If you had a book and you raised it, you gave ...
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Kinetic energy of the object, but Potential energy of the system: Why is it so?

Examples from Principles of Physics (by Walker,Resnick,Halliday) will say it better: Let us throw a tomato upward. . .as the tomato rises, the work $\mathbf{W_g}$ done on the tomato by the ...
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62 views

Paradox of nesting black holes and release of energy

By dumping a gas cloud into a small black hole, I can produce radiation energy, this is how quasars produce energy. By dumping the previous black hole, with the gas cloud inside, into a black hole, ...
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53 views

Lagrange’s equation: from energies to Lagrangian form

I don't understand how we step from $$\frac{d}{dt}\frac{\partial T}{\partial \dot q_j} - \frac{\partial T}{\partial q_j} = -\frac{\partial V}{\partial q_j}$$ to $$\frac{d}{dt}\frac{\partial ...
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474 views

Has $E=mc^2$ been experimentally verified for macroscopic objects with potential energy?

In relation to this question: What is potential energy truly?, I'm wondering if $E=mc^2$ has been experimentally verified to hold true for macroscopic objects with increased potential energy? I'm ...
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Obtaining angular velocity of a general orbit

Provided you are given a effective potential function i.e. $$ V_{eff}=\dfrac{J^2}{2ml^2sin^2(\theta)} + mgl(1-cos(\theta))$$ how do you obtain the angular velocity for different types of orbits; i.e. ...
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62 views

Where is the mass energy of potential energy (such as for the universe?)

As you know, energy has mass via $E=mc^2$. If I understand right, mass must be inside of a particle, and can not just be "free floating." Gravitational potential energy (or what ever its equivalent ...
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What happens for a spoon if you carry it to the top of Mount Everest? [duplicate]

$$U=mgh$$ $$h \to \infty$$ $$U \to ?$$ The potential of a 100 gram-spoon is approximately 1 j when it's 1 meter away from the Earth's surface. It's still a spoon if you carry it to the top of ...
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Where is the potential energy saved? [duplicate]

If you increase the h (=height), potential energy will be increased given by U=mgh. Where does the energy go, into atoms?
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What will be the amount of potential energy?

Suppose, I have an object of mass $m$. By applying a force of $F=mg$, if I withdraw this object with constant velocity and place it at a height $h$ from ground level, then potential energy stored in ...
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Gravity and its energy

Where does gravity get its energy from? So, I'm taking a high school environmental science class and we just started a unit on energy. We were talking about different types of energy and one was ...
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Gravitational potential energy of a system [closed]

I don't know how the gravitational potential energy of a system of particles is defined. For example, how would one calculate the potential energy of a system of two stars, one mass $M$, the other ...
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Potential energy $= mgh$, what is $h$?

NOTE: when I say potential energy I mean gravitational PE The formula for potential energy is P.E = mgh. What is h referring to? Height, obviously. Consider the example: What is the potential ...
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I can make the mechanical energy 0 or in fact anything. Is this normal?

We let the rope fall with $\alpha = \pi/2$ (no initial velocity). if I choose the original of potential energy as the picture indicates there, this means that: $$E_m = E_{pe} + E_c = \frac12mv^2 ...
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Is electric potential a form of potential energy?

As I understand it, the concept of potential energy arises from analytical mechanics. Yet I often see the concept of electric potential $\phi$ introduced without mention of analytical mechanics. For ...
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The work-energy theorem

Well here's the question. From some previous excercises we know that from \begin{align} A&=\int F\;ds,\\ &=\int ma\;ds, &&(F=ma)\\ &=\int m \frac{dv}{dt}\;ds, ...
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How to reconstruct the dependence of the potential from a coordinate?

What is known is that an ion sent along the X-axis of a black box with a speed $V$ returns in a time: $$T=a V^b$$ $a$ and $b$ are some known constants. Having this, can we reproduce the dependence of ...
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116 views

Why is the potential energy for a body raised up by a height negative?

I tried deriving the potential energy of a body when raised at a height $h$ above the earths surface, using the formula: $$PE = -W_\text{conservative}$$ where $W_\text{conservative}$ is the work ...
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1answer
56 views

Relationship between momentum and energy for rocket-powered aircraft

I'm trying to write a problem for my students in an algebra-based physics class. We have a flight simulator and I've got a glider in the simulator that has a couple rocket boosters attached. Students ...
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My total potential energy?

The potential energy in a uniformed gravitational field is $mg \cdot \Delta h$. This assumes of course that $g$ doesn't change and only gives the difference in potential energy for $\Delta h$. How ...
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What is the intuition behind “Net Work is Zero”?

I tried searching the answer to this all over the internet, but still cannot grasp this concept. So, when a book is being lifted, let's say $25 meters$ with a mass of $4kg$, with constant speed. I ...
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Classical Mechanics - Potential Energy Function [closed]

Question The potential energy function of a particle of mass $m$ is: $$V(x) = \frac{cx}{x^2+a^2}$$ where c and a are positive constants. Qualitatively sketch $V$ as a function of $x$. Find two ...
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What is the zero of potential?

A satellite of mass $m$ is travelling at a speed $v_0$ in a circular orbit of radius $r_0$ around a fixed mass at $O$. Taking the zero of potential at $r=\infty$, show that the total energy of the ...
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Relation between potential energy and forces

Can you also explain why can't we define potential energy corresponding to a non-conservative internal force? Non-conservative forces are those which don't depend on the initial and final states but ...
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Alternative type energy storage to batteries? [closed]

When designing portable devices it is usually the battery that stores its energy, because it has a high energy density that allows even small batteries to run up to a year, given appropriate circuit ...
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101 views

Finding the potential energy of a geosynchronous satellite above earth [closed]

I am trying to find the gravitational potential energy of a 1kg geostationary satellite above the earth. So far: $E=mgh$, and $g=GM/r^2$ so substitution of $g$ into the energy equation gives: ...
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34 views

Thomson problem vs. maximizing sum of distance

Given $N$ equally charged points lying on the unit sphere ("electrons"), the Thomson problem consists of finding the configuration of these points such that the electrostatic potential energy $$ ...
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Work in electric potential

I've read that if we want to move a charge in an electric field then we need a work of an external force to move it from a low potential energy to a high one , but then I read on another source that ...
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Mathematical misunderstanding of Work-Potential Energy Theorem?

This is a relatively basic question, but I don't understand why it is the case. This is from my dynamics book and is mainly a mathematical misunderstanding. $$ \ dU = F\cos\theta ds $$ Which means ...
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Why molecules in this potential have a common average distance $r_m$ to their neighbors?

A commonly used potential describing intermolecular interactions in liquids and real gases is the so-called Lennard-Jones potential. In this model the interaction of atoms and molecules with each ...
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Generalization of Feynman's derivation of the formula for gravitational potential energy in FLP volume I

In the Feynman Lectures on Physics, Feynman derives the formula for gravitational potential energy by applying a line of reasoning he borrowed from Carnot on reversible weight lifting machines (FLP I, ...
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What does it mean to charge a length of wire up to potential v?

I have to study the text "On the Theory of the Electric Telegraph," By William Thomson, 1855. I am having trouble gaining a conceptual understanding of the opening: "Let c be the electro-statical ...
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128 views

Potential Energy of Springs and Gravity, and Work of a force

I am currently really stuck on this problem and I am not sure how to actually solve it, I think I can reason it out logically but I do not know how to show it. Here it is and under I will show what I ...
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How is potential energy actually stored in a steel spring at the atomic level?

Elasticity is one the most intriguing phenomena, wiki gives a summary explanation of what happens in a steel spring: the atomic lattice changes size and shape when forces are applied (energy is ...
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Ballistic Pendulum question?

I am answering a question regarding the ballistic pendulum, and the teacher gave this worksheet. I have figured out both t (time) and the change in y. Where I am getting confused is where he wrote out ...
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100 views

Violation of conservation of energy… or not? [closed]

The work done by surface tension is double the increase in potential energy. This is a clear violation of conservation of energy. What is the flaw here? Work done by surface tension is \begin{align} ...
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Modelling gravitational potential of a galaxy

I am interested in modelling the gravitational potential of a disc-shaped galaxy with radius $R$, i.e. solving the 2D Poisson equation numerically by Gauss-Seidel relaxation: $$\nabla^2 \phi = 4\pi G ...
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Is there anything interesting about an n-body system whose potential energy is constant?

I am curious about a system of gravitating bodies with particular characteristics. Before describing the characteristics of the system, let me say what I want to know about it: Can this be a ...
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How to find height, when given the velocity at that location, starting height, and mass of object? [closed]

The question: A roller coaster is 100m above the ground, and weighs 1000kg. At one point of the roller-coaster-ride, the velocity is 28 m/s. What is the height of the roller-coaster at that ...