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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Electron flow and electric potential

In the physics tutorial topic on current electricty it defines the positive terminal as the high potential terminal and the negative as the low potential. When talking about positive test charges this ...
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Actual meaning of “Gravitational Potential”?

In a gravitational field, the gravitational force acting on a body (of mass m) at a point x metres away from the attracting body (of mass M) is $\frac{GMm}{x^2}$. Integrating this force from a point ...
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Where does the loss in gravitational energy of the load go when a spring is pulled?

A mass spring system is in equilibrium. If I pull on the load by $x$ meters, the energy stored in the spring is (this is what is given in my book): $$E=\frac12kx^2 $$ However, doesn't the load lose ...
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Potential energy for different states

While studying thermal physics at school, I have been taught that solids simply have more potential energy than the liquids and gases. Note that it was said that this potential energy is due to the ...
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What is the true electric potential at the terminals of a battery?

I recently studied Laplace's equation and numerical methods for solving it, and so I'm trying to simulate an electron gun. (assuming cylindrical symmetry on the Wehnelt, anode, and beam.) The setup ...
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Hamiltonian function for classical hard-sphere elastic collision

I'm trying to find the Hamiltonian function for a system consisting of a single particle in one dimension colliding elastically with a wall at x = 0. Everything I've read on the topic (e.g. this ...
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129 views

How to understand dynamics $\dot x_i=\partial_jA_{ij}$ from skew-symmetric potential $A$?

We speak of a dynamical system with a potential if there is a scalar possibly depending on coordinate such that the vector field is exactly the (negative) gradient of the potential. That means each ...
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265 views

Work done should be positive but coming out negative?

$\int\frac{GMm}{x^2}dx$ where $x$ varies from $\infty$ to $r$. Situation we are bringing a very small mass from infinity to a distance r in the gravitational field of Earth with constant ...
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296 views

Expansion of the Universe: Conversion of gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy?

Suppose there is an object floating in space which over time begins to fall toward the source of a gravitational field. As it falls, its motion happens to be such that it gets locked in orbit around ...
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why does water do that?

I found recently that water fills a bottle quicker through only observation if I hold the tube away from the filling water than if I leave the tube inside the bottle. why does that happen? does ...
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Interpretation of contribution of gravitational potential energy to the gravitational field

In terms of General relativity we have as a matter of principle that anything that has inertial mass contributes to gravity. All forms of potential energy have inertial mass, it follows that the ...
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Is there energy stored when iron is magnetized?

When a piece of iron is magnetized, and the domains are aligned, Is there energy stored? If so, how much energy is stored? If there is an attraction between that same iron and the source of the ...
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285 views

Signs in proof of gravitation potential energy (GPE)

Proof of gravitational potential energy. Work done by gravity in bringing mass from infinity to a distance of $r$ between masses. When we use the integration formula and arrive at the answer we ...
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Differences between time-independent and time-dependent Schrödinger equation for potential generation

Suppose I wanted to develop a potential describing the interaction between two lithium atoms. One way to do this is to calculate the energy between the two lithium atoms for various distances and ...
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Difference between voltage and potential energy in a capacitor

I'm confused about the difference between voltage and potential energy in a capacitor. Suppose you have a capacitor with a voltage V and capacitance C, and you release a particle with charge $+Q$ from ...
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221 views

Can a particle with non-zero angular momentum pass through the center of a spherical potential?

Suppose you have a particle of mass $m$ moving in a potential $V(r) = -\frac{k}{r^2}$, with $r^2 = x^2+y^2+z^2$ and $k > 0$. Since the angular momentum $l$ is conserved, the particle will move in a ...
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Gravitational binding energy and integrated potential energy not the same?

Before looking up the formula for the gravitational binding energy of a uniform sphere, I simply figured that the general formula for binding energy of an arbitrarily-shaped mass distribution would be ...
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319 views

potential energy change in conservative field

Is it true that potential energy of a particle always decreases in the direction of conservative force acting on it?
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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) = ...
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Why do organisms accumulate potential energy?

I can understand that animals need some battaries to run. But, we learn that plants serve like batteries for animals because they accumulate the sun energy in the first place! You can eat them or burn ...
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Deriving the Lorentz force from velocity dependent potential

We can achieve a simplified version of the Lorentz force by $$F=q\bigg[-\nabla(\phi-\mathbf{A}\cdot\mathbf{v})-\frac{d\mathbf{A}}{dt}\bigg],$$ where $\mathbf{A}$ is the magnetic vector potential and ...
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We create systems with different values of Energy? [closed]

I understand that Energy is a conserved quantity in a system. A number, that's always the same to the system. However, don't we determine such a number? I mean, we can create systems(Or study them ...
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Why potential energy of a dipole in an electric field has a negative sign?

In the following equation $$V = -\mathbf{P}\cdot \mathbf{E}$$ why I have to take Potential Energy as negative. Is there any simple reason behind this ? I am preparing for my high school ...
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The conservation of energy when a spring is placed in acid [duplicate]

Stretch a spring out and give it a bunch of potential energy. Lower the spring into a vat of acid, disolving the spring into nothingness. Where did the potential energy go?
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286 views

Elastic potential energy of compressed spring? [duplicate]

If a compressed spring is dissolved in acid what happens to the elastic potential energy of the spring?
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Deriving the curve of a cantilever

Essentially, there is a beam of length L and negligible mass sticking out of a wall with a mass Mg hanging at the end of it. We are given an equation for elastic energy (which I don't think needs to ...
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Dominos vs. Conservation of Energy

In this video a single flick of a finger tips 116000 dominos. Domino video I understand the work that needs to be done to move 116000 pieces (at least 100 kilos) of plastic is greater then that ...
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Potential energy: Electric field two spherical charges

I want to determine the potential energy of two equally charged spherical charges by using the equation: $V_{pot}= \int_V \frac{1}{2} \epsilon_0 E^2 dV$ and therefore I was wondering what I has to ...
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Potential energy of the dipole-dipole interaction for two parallel dipole moments

I am looking for an equation that gives me the potential energy of the interaction between two parallel dipoles.
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overall energy transformation as a diver moves downwards through water [closed]

What is the answer to the following MCQ? A swimmer dives into a very deep pool at high speed. He slows down as he moves towards the bottom of the pool. What is the overall energy ...
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Coincidence, purposeful definition, or something else in formulas for energy

In the small amount of physics that I have learned thus far, there seems to be a (possibly superficial pattern) that I have been wondering about. The formula for the kinetic energy of a moving ...
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Is electron volt an alternate unit for electric potential? [closed]

My question is: Can an electron volt be considered an alternate unit for electric potential?
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The “stationary potential energy” condition for static equilibrium in mechanical systems

I've often read that, for a mechanical system which can be described by $n$ generalized coordinates $q_1,...,q_n$, a point $\mathbf{Q}=(Q_1,...,Q_n)$ is a point of equilibrium if and only if the ...
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Potential and Kinetic Energy

In engineering school you learn the basic swing problem. Essentially that there is a transfer of kinetic energy (as seen in the velocity at the bottom of as swing) to potential energy at the top of ...
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What's an “Action” and what does the Lagrangian equation mean exactly?

How and why would a particle take the shortest path? $L=KE-PE$? What's the $KE-PE$ mean in English? I understand the 'mechanics' but not the idea itself. Please explain simply, I do know Calculus ...
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Relation between work, kinetic energy and potential energy

We derived two equations in class. The work done between two points $A$, $B$ is equal to the difference between the kinetic energy at the last point and the one at the first point. The work done ...
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What can be known about the formulas for energy only from the fact that it is conserved?

The question is to figure out how the energy can be derived knowing just one thing: There is a quantity called Energy that is conserved over time. The goal is to get an equation that somehow ...
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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 ...
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How does a sponge “suck” up water against gravity?

If I take a sponge and place it in a shallow dish of water (i.e. water level is lower than height of sponge), it absorbs water until the sponge is wet, including a portion of the sponge above the ...
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Do these equations apply to an object on a zip line or slope?

I was looking at the conversion equations for Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy to Velocity here: http://www.ftexploring.com/energy/PE-to-KE.html Would these apply to an object on a zip-line? ...
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Energy stored in a clothespin spring (non linear spring)

I was wondering how one would go about figuring out the energy stored in a spring in a clothespin. When opened the spring is deformed, but I don't have any intuition for why it gets stronger with ...
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Does potential energy in gravitationall field increase mass?

I was just taught (comments) that any type of energy contributes to mass of the object. This must indeed include potential energy in gravitational field. But here, things cease to make sense, have a ...
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Center of mass of a body on an incline

I am trying to reproduce a calculation by Carre et al. (1995) in which they calculate the shape of a droplet on an incline. My issue is in the derivation of the potential energy (essentially the ...
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Derivative of $\epsilon$ in Lennard-Jones equation

I just want to calculate the derivative of epsilon for the following Lennard-Jones equation: LJ = $4\sqrt{\epsilon_{ii} \epsilon_{jj}}$ $[(\sigma/ r)^{12}-(\sigma/r)^{6}]$ with respect to ...
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370 views

Kinetic energy of two charged balls at infinite distance between them

If I have two balls with masses and charges $m_1, q_1^{+}$, $m_2, q_2^{+}$, initially held at distance $d$, and then released, how can I know the kinetic energies of each of the balls at infinite ...
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Physics of every-day life: rotating bag of tea

Whilst studying for my physics courses, I like to drink tea. Today, I noticed that if you pull a bag of tea out of a hot cup of water, it gradually starts to rotate, picking up speed as time ...
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Potential on a Charged Sheet

I know the field difference across a charged sheet-but what's the potential on a charged sheet? Is it just asymptotic? If we had a thin cylindrical sheet would it be the same? Zero field inside the ...
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Potential energy sign conventions

Almost every book on physics that I read have some weird and non-clear explanations regarding the potential energy. Ok, I do understand that if we integrate a force over some path, we'll get a ...
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Mechanical Equivalent of Heat

Recently I have been looking up James Joule's experiment regarding the mechanical equivalent of heat. After viewing some drawings of the apparatus, I assumed that the lines holding the weights would ...
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Why is potential energy negative when orbiting in a gravitational field?

I had to do a problem, and part of it was to find the mechanical energy of satellite orbiting around mars, and I had all of the information I needed. I thought the total mechanical energy would be the ...