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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
1answer
190 views

How to show period is defined by $T=dS/dE$ (V.I. Arnold Mathemtical Physics)

I'm looking at a book by VI Arnold on mathematical physics and I've hit a roadblock pretty early on. I'll quote the question: "Let $S(E)$ be the area enclosed by the closed phase curve ...
0
votes
2answers
178 views

Why are gravity and spring-force conservative forces?

I know that the amount of work does not depend on the followed path but on the position when speaking about conservative forces. But could someone please prove/explain why exactly those two are ...
0
votes
3answers
102 views

Why can't we define a potential energy for a non-conservative force? [closed]

We could define potential energies for non-conservative forces too and then we could conserve it with kinetic and potential energy as we know it. But no one does that. Why is this? Please explain. Any ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Spring Potential Energy [closed]

A spring whose spring constant is $k$, having an initial "free" length is $l$, is being pressed by $2$ hoops on a metal(the parabola) on his both sides. (see image below) I want to calculate the ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Why does the gravitational potential energy decreases as balloon filled with hydrogen ascends up?

As body ascends height increases from the formula $mgh$ the increasing height should increase magnitude of P.E. but some say we should take height negative as it is going up against gravity.
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Why is the potential independent of the generalized velocity?

In Goldstein, Classical Mechanics, Chap. 1.4 we derive Lagrange's equations from D'Alembert's Principle. My question is regarding the last part of the derivation, specifically the part where he ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Potential energy in gravitation

The gravitational potential energy of a two particle system is: $$ U = -G \, \frac{m_1 \, m_2}{r} $$ where $r$ is the distance between the two particles with mass $m_1$ and $m_2$, and the potential ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Hamiltonian average of energy of two stationary states

In quantum mechanics, the description of the infinite square well is given with the potential energy defined as $$V(x) = \begin{cases} 0 & \text{if } 0 \leq x \leq a,\\ \infty & ...
0
votes
3answers
75 views

How much energy does an electron have when it is situated right next to a negative point charge?

The formula for potential energy regarding point charges is $E=kQq/r$. If $r=0$, then will the energy be approaching infinity? But what about an electron in a parallel-plates situation where it is ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Infinite square well physical interpretation

In quantum mechanics, the description of the infinite square well is given with the potential energy defined as $$V(x) = \begin{cases} 0 & \text{if } 0 \leq x \leq a,\\ \infty & ...
-4
votes
2answers
119 views

Dilemma About Energy : Can You EXPLAIN? [closed]

PROBLEM 1 : A 2.14 kg block is dropped from a height of 43.6 cm onto a spring of force constant k = 18.6 N/cm as shown in fig:12-19.find the maximum distance the spring will be compressed. solution ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Transform QM radial equation to spherical Bessel equation

I'm currently learning about spherical potentials (ex. hydrogen and hydrogen-like systems) and am trying to work through the problem of a generic spherical potential well such as: $$V(r) = ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

How much work can the human body do before dying of exhaustion [closed]

If we could assume: We don't increase our energy from absorbing food. Our human example in scope isn't starving or suffering from malnutrition. I mean how much work can we do until the body would ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Minimum energy required to remove the satellite from its orbit to infinity?

My book says that minimum energy required to remove the satellite from its orbit is equal to its total energy (K.E+P.E). But shouldn't it equal to only the potential energy difference of satellite in ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Why is the energy lost due to the internal resistance always equal to $(1/2)CV^{2}$ in a simple capacitor battery circuit? [duplicate]

Suppose we have simple circuit in which a battery of EMF $E$ is connected to a capacitor of capacitance $C$. Work done by battery $W_{b}=CV\times V$ and energy stored in capacitor ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Effective potential kerr solution

In Newtons mechanic we obtain $E=V_{eff}(r)+\frac{1}{2}mv²$ with $V_{eff}(r)=V(r)+\frac{1}{2} \frac{L²}{mr²}$ for the effectiv potential. The first equation is easy to interpret the total energy ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

What is exactly gravitational potential energy and explain P.E. $= -GMm/r$? [duplicate]

I was studying gravity and I came to know about $P.E.= -\frac{GMm}{r}$ which is derived by $GMm(\frac{1}{\infty} - \frac{1}{r})$ which the work done by the body to displace it from infinity to $r$. ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

Deriving Kepler's First Law from Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation: Interpretation of the $u = 1/r$ change of variable

I'm working through a somewhat unsatisfying derivation of Kepler's First Law from Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation. The key to obtaining the equation of motion that you can solve lies in making ...
0
votes
2answers
114 views

Does really a spring compresses placed between two blocks when one block is given force on a frictionless surface?

When Spring is placed between two bodies on a frictionless surface it gets compressed when one block is given kinetic energy as told by my physics teacher. But it should not compress as there's no ...
1
vote
2answers
410 views

Electric Potential, Work Done by Electric Field & External Force

I did lot of searching but couldn't find any textbook nor any webpage which could clarify my doubt. Maybe my doubt is insanely stupid and I was dumb for not realizing it at the first place. The ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

System of potential energy

Is potential energy calculated between a system? More specifically, if we say 'potential energy of a ball with respect to earth', does it mean that the Earth + the ball is a system?
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Capacitance question

A capacitors capacitance, C is equal to Q/V right? If Q was somehow cut in half, would the potential difference also be cut in half, since V is directly proportional to Q? And if so, Its C would be ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Is gravitational potential always defined for a system?

I have studied about Gravitational potential energy ($GPE$) and Gravitational potential ($GP$). ..while everywhere it is said that $GPE$ is always of a system as it depends on the configuration of the ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Integration path with opposite direction from the unit vector

The task is to calculate the voltage between points $M$ and $N$ if the electric field vector is known to be $\vec{E}=\frac{V_0\cdot x^2}{a^3} \cdot \vec{i} + \frac{V_0 \cdot y}{a^2} \cdot \vec{j}$, ...
0
votes
2answers
115 views

Energy forms of a charged particle in an electric field?

I am thinking an explicit list of all energy forms in a system of charged particle (take electron or proton, for instance). It has at least potential energy and kinetic energy by Newton. ...
0
votes
2answers
138 views

Defining gravitational potential

I recently came across the definition of gravitational potential where ..... Suppose a particle of mass $m$ is taken from a point $A$ to $B$. Let $U(A)$ and $U(B)$ denote the gravitational ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

Potential Energy [closed]

I really need help with this homework question. I thought the function very stranger to be a function of a potential energy. It´s seems to be like Lennard Jonnes pontential energy function. Am I ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

What is the relation between ‘Electric Potential’ and ‘Electric Potential Energy’?

What is the relation between ‘Electric Potential’ and ‘Electric Potential Energy’?
0
votes
0answers
86 views

Potential vs Potential Difference for a line charge

How would I calculate potential for an infinite line of charge a distance 'r' away from it? What does the reference point for potential difference mean? I know delta v = Q/(2pi*epsilon0*L)*ln(r2/r1) ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

Gravitational binding energy of 2D circle [closed]

I'm interested in calculating the gravitational binding energy for an object modelled by 2D circle for a small collision simulator. In the simulation, I'm using a 2D equivalents of 3D properties (e.g ...
0
votes
2answers
55 views

Finding the work done to fill the tank by pumping water over the edge? [closed]

I am really confused on how to approach the following question and how to set it up. So the question is: An open tank has the shape of a frustrum of a right circular cone. The tank is ...
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Flow from higher potential region to lower potential region

In Thermodynamics, it is said that heat transfer takes place from higher temperature to lower temperature. Things having higher temperature have higher potential energy because of more vibratory ...
1
vote
2answers
209 views

Why do we never account for the extra mass carried by a gravitationally excited object?

The mass of a bound system is the mass of its part minus the binding energy. For instance if you put an electron and a proton together to form a hydrogen atom you get a $13.6 \text{ eV}$ photon and ...
-1
votes
1answer
58 views

Why is a satellite's GPE negative? [duplicate]

Okay, so the formula for Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) of satellites is: $$ U=-GmM/d$$ Mass and distance can't be negative, and $G$ is constant that is not negative. Why is a satellite's GPE ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

How does the tension force of a massless string affect the speed of a mass on its end?

i,j, and k are the unit vectors in the following question, and $\omega$ is the angular velocity. Lets say you have a mass m attached to a mass-less string of length $L$ tied to a peg with no ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Why does $\omega = \sqrt{V''(x_0) / m}$?

I know that in an equation such that $$\ddot{x} + \omega^2x = 0,$$ the angular frequency $ = \omega$. But why is that ever $ \sqrt{V''(x_0) / m}$? (where $x_0$ is the equilibrium point). I just saw ...
0
votes
3answers
27 views

Confused about potential energy problem

So I am trying to solve this problem: On spring hangs a 2 kg block. Spring stiffness coefficient is 400 N/m. How much spring expanded? My attempt to solve it: ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Work done when applying an electric field?

On these example questions from MIT in the solution to 4.1 they write the work done by applying the electric field to be: $$W=V_0 \int \vec E \cdot d \vec D$$ Where does this equation come from and ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

How to compute Gravitational potential energy

Find the potential energy of a system of four particles placed at the vertices of a square of side $\ell$. Also obtain the potential at the centre of the square. In the question above can ...
-1
votes
1answer
81 views

Work done by gravitational force!

Suppose a ball is $10m$ high from the ground. It will have $E_p = 10mg$. Now, if the ball falls freely then we know $E_k$ will be $0.5mv^2 = E_p$. But it is said that the work done by a force will ...
0
votes
2answers
151 views

Work done against gravity comes out positive

Given two points in 3-space, $A = (9, 1, 5)$ and $B=(2,8,7)$, the work done by the gravitational field $\bf{F}$ when an object is moved from point $A$ to point $B$ comes out positive, even though it ...
1
vote
1answer
281 views

Electric field for concentric spheres

I have a couple clarifying questions: (A) in $E=kq/r^2$ for the area between a sphere inside another spherical shell, the sphere inside is considered a point charge. However, the sphere inside has a ...
3
votes
2answers
448 views

Can the electric or gravitational potential be discontinuous? Why?

I was solving the Laplace's equation for the charger thin spherical shell and noticed that the field is discontinuous at the surface (inside it is zero and outside it is proportional to $1/r^2$) but ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Why doesn't the volume integral vanish?

I am reading Galactic Dynamics by Binney and Termaine, and I'm struggling with the following passage. According to Poisson's equation the resulting change in potential $\delta\Phi(\mathbf x)$ ...
0
votes
2answers
87 views

Why isn't the work minus the potential energy when bringing a charge in from infinity?

This is an example in my physics textbook, and there is just one step that I don't understand. Two point charges are located on the x-axis, $q_1 = -e$ at $x = 0$ and $q_2 = +e$ at $x=a$. Find ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Does the rest mass energy include the potential energy of the particle?

The potential energy (as far as I have studied - that is, mainly classical physics) depends on the reference level, since its absolute value cannot be calculated. It can therefore be negative as well. ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Hamiltonian of coupled oscillators

Let's say I have a system of coupled oscillators which are described by the coordinates $\{x_1,...,x_N\}$ and $\{\dot{x}_1,...,\dot{x}_N\}$. The equation of motion for each oscillator is $$\ddot{x}_n ...
0
votes
2answers
57 views

Gravitational potential and intensity

Why don't we calculate gravitational field/intensity of a point due to a disc directly? We first calculate the potential then calculate the field by differentiating with respect to $dr$. Why don't we ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Potential Energy in a System and its Relation to the Total Energy

In this answer it was stated that potential energy is a property of a system and not an individual particle. If we have two particles (1 and 2) interacting via a conservative force, we can write an ...
2
votes
0answers
131 views

Lagrange: when a potential force, when a generalized force?

Consider the following case of a drum unrolling a mass that is on a massless string wrapped around the drum: According to my professor, here we must consider the mass $m$ being in a gravitational ...