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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electric potential and other potentials

We know that without potential difference no electric current can flow.If two conductors carrying positive and negative charge respectively then the first one will have positive and the rest one will ...
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Does a potential of interaction produce also torque?

I have a system of particles (spheres with masses and radii), with $6$ degree of freedom (they are free to move and rotate as they wish). Between each couple there is an interaction potential $V(d)$, ...
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What happens to gas molecules after ionization?

I know that gas molecules conduct electricity after they get ionized but what will happen if we keep increasing the voltage even after ionization? Will it explode? If it will then how much energy ...
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Finding the components of the tensor for potential and kinetic energy

I have a rather poor understanding of what a tensor is, but enough to apply it to the biggest part of the classical mechanics I'm studying. However, I've run into a small problem while studying "Free ...
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How does the gradient operator pick up a minus sign when the reference frame is switched from one particle to another? [closed]

A potential between two particles, $i$ and $j$, is given as a function only of the separation distance, $$V_{ij} = V_{ij}(|r_i − r_j|)$$ It should follow that the force by $j$ on $i$ is equal and ...
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Understanding parallel plate capacitors [closed]

I need help with understanding this assignment. I originally though of using the equation of Eo*A/D = Q/ΔV but I don't know how to answer this without actual numbers to plug in besides the epsilon-not ...
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177 views

Where Potential increase gets it's energy from?

Imagine there are two particles: A,B; of which, we observe A to be stationary, while B is moving towards A at velocity v. A,B has same mass; and they are charged both positive. B has a potential wrt ...
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is the potential energy of a black hole infinity

It appears like black holes posses an escape velocity greater than the velocity of light. It takes an atom infinity energy to travel at speed of light.Do black holes posses that energy to retain ...
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Charging by induction [closed]

When we charge an conductor by induction and grounding, we first bring a negative charge to the conductor. As a result the mobile electrons of the conductor get repelled and stay far from the negative ...
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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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Gravity well and constant total energy in circular orbit [closed]

According to this question, the total energy of an object in a circular orbit in a $1/r^2$ potential does not depend on the radius of the orbit. However, if you look at "circular orbits" in a gravity ...
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Center of mass error - calculating systematic error in change in PE

Suppose we have to calculate systematic error in change in PE. Let's suppose systematic error due to scale is 1%. I'm confused about the center of mass error. \begin{align} \Delta PE = m*g*h_1 - ...
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Why the force acting on a particle is the negative gradient of a scalar potential? [closed]

For conservative forces we can proof that it is a gradient of a scalar potential, but why we use the negative sign? In every book I searched, it said that it is like an agreement between physicists, ...
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How to efficiently cool down simulated gas by time-dependent potential?

I'm trying to simulate condensation of a highly diluted gas (a model gas, not any real one). For simplicity I restrict the simulation to 2 dimensions. To setup the simulation I take some interparticle ...
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48 views

How can energy be negative in a finite square well?

Say if the potential $V(x) < 0$ in the well but the sides or the scattered states its zero potential, anyways How is that the energy in the well is less than zero? Is it because the potential ...
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Confusion with $F=-\nabla V$, $F$ conservative

I am rather confused by the relationship $F=-\nabla V$. If a pen drops from a height it loses potential energy so $\nabla V$ is negative. From the above equation this means that the gravitational ...
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Why is a conservative force defined as the negative gradient of a potential?

I'm learning about work in my dynamics class right now. We have defined the work on a particle due to the force field from point A to point B as the curve Integral over the force field from point A to ...
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Picturing Feynman's argument about perpetual motion

So, there is a certain paragraph in Fenyman's book that I'm struggling with for quite some time. It says: We imagine that there are two classes of machines, those that are not reversible, which ...
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Mechanical energy of a body

What is the total mechanical energy of an air-plane flying in the sky? Does it possess both kinetic energy and potential energy,taking the zero potential energy at ground? As it is moving it will ...
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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 ...
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Help understanding the solution to a problem regarding kinetic energy of a group of point charges

The problem provided by my professor goes as follows: "Now consider a situation in which all charges are equal to q and they simultaneously become "unglued". What speed will each charge have when a ...
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53 views

Equivalence between principle of least action and minimum potential energy

Are the principle of least action and the principle of minimum potential energy equivalent? How does one show that? Also, are Newton's laws of motion equivalent to the principle of least action? How ...
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How does potential energy relate to kinetic energy on a rollercoaster?

This is appearantly how the potential and kinetic energy are in the different positions of the rollercoaster, if I am not mistaking. However I don't understand why the total energy is energy and ...
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Why is the potential energy minimal when the repulsion and attraction force between molecules is 0?

According to this potentialcurve and the other curve(?) the potential energy is minimal when the intermolecular forces equal zero. Why? How should I interprete negative potential energy in this ...
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How is energy converted when massless spring is attached to a rigid support

Say a massless spring of length l is attached to a rigid support. It is extended to length l + x. Now at this position, the ...
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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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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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How to reconstruct the dependence of the potential from a coordinate?

An ion moves along the x-axis of a black box with a speed $V$ and returns in a time $$T=a V^b$$ where $a$ and $b$ are some known constants. Having this, can we reproduce the dependence of a field ...
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Electrical energy in a piezoelectric material

How do we define the electrical energy stored in a piezoelectric material? I'm confused about both the naming and the meaning. Are "electrostatic energy density", "dielectric energy density" and ...
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Why potential energy of external force on particle attached to spring is equal to full force multiplied by full displacement?

I am having quite difficult time to understand the meaning of total potential energy on spring. All references I read say that the total potential energy on particle attached to spring is: ...
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Why are the allowed energies a continuum in the region $V_{\_} < E < V_{+}$?

I'm studying quantum mechanics and I don't quite understand why there's an energy continuum in the region $V_{\_} < E < V_{+}$ in the following example: It was explained that because of the ...
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Gravitational Potential Energy misunderstandings [closed]

I'm really confused by the derivation of Gravitational Potiential Energy. I took a screenshot of the wikipedia entry below. My major confusion lies in: 1. The use of the position vector r in the ...
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Sign of elastic potential from a spring [closed]

When writing the Lagrangian of a problem, how do I determine the sign of an elastic potential from a spring?
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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 ...
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In continuum mechanics, what is work potential in the context of total potential energy?

I'm reading a book on the finite element method. Specifically I'm looking at the background material where they are discussing potential energy, equilibrium, and the Rayleigh–Ritz method. The book ...
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Gravitational Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy Confusion

Say there is an object being dropped from a distance. I can calculate the GPE of that object using $GPE = mgh$. As the object falls, the gravitational potential energy is converted into kinetic ...
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Why don't they use springs as an energy source for cell phones?

I know they used springs for clocks way back in the day and now it's all lithium ion batteries. For reference, consider the Iphone that has a battery with a capacity of 5 Watt hours (18,000 joules). ...
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To derive the relation between work function and potential energy

I'm reading "The variational principles of mechanics- Lanczos", The author mentions a relation between Work-Function $U(q_1,q_2,\cdots,q_n,\dot q_1,\dot q_2,\cdots,\dot q_n)$ and the potential ...
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Why is there potential Energy due to lifting an object or moving when it's attached to a spring while the net work is zero?

Consider that you lift an object a height h vertically, if the body happens to move with uniform velocity this means that net force acting on it is zero. The same is true for a body attached to a ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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.
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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 & ...
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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 ...
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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 & ...
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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 ...
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Why is $F=-\nabla V$?

I came across this equation $$F=-\nabla V$$ where $V$ is potential energy. I do understand that $$F(r)=-\frac{dV}{dr}.$$ Hence does this mean the nabla operator in this case means derivative? Because ...
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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) = ...