# Tagged Questions

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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### Gravitational field strength and potential different signs

In my revision guide the gravitational field strength is given as $g=GM/r^2$ whereas gravitational potential is $V=-GM/r$. Why does potential have a minus sign but field strength doesn't?
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### Graph of electric potential

In my AP physics guide the graph for electric potential (for a radial field, i.e. point charge) and gravitational potential (for radial field, i.e. point mass) slightly differ from each other and I ...
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### Potential Energy of a Molecule

A generic problem asks that we find the total potential energy of a water molecule. Potential energy is given by $\Sigma \ kQ_{1}Q_{2}/r$ where $Q_{1}$ and $Q_{2}$ are the charges of any one bond ...
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### The amount of potential energy at the height of h [duplicate]

When we lift an object upwards with a constant velocity for a distance of $h$ the work that we've done is $mgh$ and the work done by the force of gravity is $-mgh$. So the net work on the object is ...
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### Total Energy of Inverted Pendulum

I have to find the total energy $V$ of an inverted pendulum (rod). The following parameters and their values are given: Mass $m$ and length $l$ of the pendulum $\theta$ as the angle of the ...
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### Derivation of Interaction energy of Dipole - Induced Dipole Interaction

I see that the formula giving the potential (interaction) energy of a dipole and an induced dipole is $$V=-\frac{C}{r^6}$$ where $$C=\frac{\mu_1^2 \alpha'_2}{4 \pi \epsilon_0}$$ and that the formula ...
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### What is the difference between the potential $V$ and the effective potential $V_{eff}$?

What is the difference between the potential $V$ and the effective potential $V_{eff}$? Some times when solving problems, an effective potential $V_{eff}$ is defined and its usually equal to the ...
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### How did Feynman prove that energy cannot be extracted from electric field?

In the Feynman Lectures, vol. II, chapter 4, Feynman discusses electric potential and says: If we carry a charge from point $a \to b$, $$W = -\int_{a}^{b} \mathbf{F} \cdot ds.$$ Now, in general, ...
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### Is potential energy an energy exists or potentiality of energy? [closed]

I want to ask whether Potential Energy is truly existing Energy - though i know the energy concept is abstract and we do not know what is energy truly as Feynman said - or it is the potentiality that ...
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### Susceptibilities and response functions

It is often confusing whether a susceptibility is the same as a response function, specially that often they are used interchangeably, in the context of statistical mechanics and thermodynamics. Very ...
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### Are black holes an infinite source of energy? [duplicate]

Black holes are considered particularities because in a determined point in time they are pointless, as consequence there are some mass in a null space so the density become infinite. Finally if ...
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### Why should Conservative forces have their curl equal to zero?(intuition)

There are several conditions that must be met in order for a force to be conservative. One of them is that the curl of that force must be equal to zero? What is the physical intuition behind this? If ...
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### Metric in Lagrangian and the minimum total potential energy principle

I was wondering why physical systems "like" to go to the minimum of potential energy and I found this question, that tries to justify the minumum total potential energy principle. I was also reading ...
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### How does potential energy work out for floating things?

Seeing a ship canal lift in TV spawned the following thought: "Oh my, this sure is a heavy ship and it can be lifted by simply adding water. What a marvellous machinery. After all, I could lift that ...
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### What is this equation $f^e = f^a - \nabla U$?

Recently in a mechanics class my prof scribbled down something looked like $$f^e = f^a - \nabla U.$$ Where he claimed $f^e$ is the external force on an object, $f^a$ is the applied force on the ...
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### Is negative energy a consequence of gravitational energy? [closed]

Assumption Treat all objects as a point. Gravitational constant = 6.67384 × 10^-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2 Acceleration of the object is 1 ms^-2 The setup Imagine there are 2 identical objects with mass of ...
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### Rest masses, binding energy - mechanism for negative mass

Let us have an two objects (in a box) both of mass $m_0$ far from each other. They attract each other and at some moment their distance is close and they have substantial kinetic energy. Something ...
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### origin of the major symmetry property of the elasticity tensor

In linear elasticity theory the stress tensor $\sigma$ is related to the strain tensor $\epsilon$ via the elastic tensor $C$. Specifically $$\sigma_{ij} = C_{ijkl} \epsilon_{kl}$$ Because $\sigma$ ...
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### Bounce height of ball on Mars vs Earth

I understand that if a ball is dropped on mars and on earth the ball will bounce back to basically the same height on both planets thanks to the law of conservation of energy. But can anyone prove ...
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### Why does negative energy imply that a system is bounded? [duplicate]

I wanted to know why "negative energy" of a two particle system implies that it is bounded. That is what happens in the case of a hydrogen atom; my textbooks say so, but they do not give any reason ...
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### Pendulum point in polar coordinates for Lagrangian

So I'm really stumped with this. I have a particle in a cone, like pictured. The particle orbits the z axis on the dotted line for $r$. So knowing that $\alpha$ and $r$ remain constant in this ...
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### Can we define the zero potential at an imaginary point?

Consider a force field defined as $$\vec{F}(x) = \left(\frac{A}{x^2}-B\right)\hat{i}\space$$ where $A, B$ are positive constants. We want to get the potential energy function for this field. We can ...
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### Understanding the relationship between electric energy and force

I'm trying to do the following problem: One of the three types of radioactive decay is "β decay", during which protons decay into neutrons or vice­versa, emitting either electrons (β­) or positrons ...
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### Why does the gravitation potential in a uniform field have negative values?

As we know the gravitational potential is the work done per unit mass in taking a point mass from zero potential (at infinity distance) to a point in a gravitational field. But why is the work ...
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### Velocity increase calculated from kinetic energy in different frames

Say we have an aeroplane cruising along at constant height with velocity $v_0$. It dives by height $h$ and levels out, at a new velocity $v_1$, in a gravitational field of strength $g$. If all the ...
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### Potential Energy of Interaction Between a Sphere and a Particle Formula Derivation [closed]

A sphere of radius R has density described by ρ=ρ(r). Derive equation for pontetial energy of interaction between the sphere and some point particle of mass m which is at distance r from the center of ...
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### Hooke's Law vs. Elastic Potential Energy

I am currently learning about elastic potential energy and this is a question that was given to us by my teacher: When a 13.2-kg mass is placed on top of a vertical spring, the spring compresses ...
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### What's the Relation between Potential of mechanics and electricity?

As we know that for a conservative force field, there is associated a Potential with the force. But we know there is a potential in electricity (That's voltage). My question is that is there any ...
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### What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$?

What is the meaning of the negative sign in $W = -\Delta U$ ? As far as I understand, $W = -\Delta U = -(U_f - U_i) = U_i - U_f$. While $U_i$ is the initial potential energy (before applying the ...
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### Kinetic energy on macro and micro situation

I just have this random question in my mind. If you drop something in deep space, and it falls due to a gravitational pull. As it's falling, its kinetic energy increases. I just wonder, is the average ...
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### Determine the value of $g$ with rolling ball

At first, I thought the value of $g$ ($9.8m/s^2$) could be determined simply by placing a ball at the top of a ramp at a known height. The ball was released with no initial velocity, and the final ...
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### Can the momentum eigenstates be non-orthogonal?

Consider the Hilbert space of a particle, whose position domain is confined to $q\in[0,1]$ (e.g. a particle in a box with unit width). Using $$1=\int_0 ^1 dq |q\rangle\langle q|$$ and the position ...
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### Is work needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential?

I don't understand whether work is needed to bring a test charge from a higher potential to a lower potential. It seems that no work is needed because the positive test charge will be under the ...
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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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### Does a mass falling towards the earth obey conservation of energy?

I'm trying to grasp basic concepts of energy and I have a question regarding conservation of energy. According to Feynman's 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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### 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} ...