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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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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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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How this formula for work follows from the definition?

If a particle moves along a path $\gamma : I\subset \mathbb{R}\to \mathbb{R}^3$ then the work done by a force $\mathbf{F}$ is defined by $$W = \int_{\gamma} \mathbf{F} = ...
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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 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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308 views

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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116 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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95 views

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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23 views

Buckling of a slender column - total energy

I'm following Goldbart's Mathematics for Physics book, and I ran into a problem with exercise 1.4 (page 43). We have a formula for the energy stored in a slightly bent rod aligned on the $z$ axis: $ ...
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31 views

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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56 views

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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58 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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31 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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39 views

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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49 views

trying to understand the electricl potential and potential energy

I am trying to understand some facts on electrical potential and potential energy. It is quite confusing in the text to say that the zero potential could be freely chosen for convenience. In that ...
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210 views

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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129 views

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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332 views

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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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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651 views

Shape of a string/chain/cable/rope/wire?

The height of a string in a gravitational field in 2-dimensions is bounded by $h(x_0)=h(x_l)=0$ (nails in the wall) and also $\int_0^l ds= l$. ($h(0)=h(l)=0$, if you take $h$ as a function of arc ...
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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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433 views

What is the minimum physical distance between two electrons?

If electrons repel, then it seems to me that energy is required to decrease the distance between two electrons. Since energy and mass are equivalent, adding energy to a system also adds some mass. ...
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801 views

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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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 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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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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Can anyone give me a simple proof for the sign change of electronic wavefunction when taken around a loop containing a conical intersection?

How and why does the sign of the electronic wavefunction changes when it is taken around a contour? For example, suppose the initial wavefunction is $f(s;S_0)$ at nuclear configuration $S_0$ and now ...
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Does a pulled rubber band contain as much energy as a twisted rubber band?

lets say I take two similar rubber bands. One of them I pull until it almost reaches its breaking point. The other I twist until it almost reached its breaking point. Do both of these rubber bands ...
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Gravitational potential energy and Center of Mass

I've been reading about the Nordtvedt effect, and how Gravitational Binding Energy (GBE) affects total mass. According to the WP article, experimental evidence rules out the existence of this effect. ...
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230 views

Infinite chain of alternating charge

The problem There is an infinite chain (1d) of alternating charges that are in a distance a from each other. That is there is one charge +q and next to it -q and so on. Now calculate how much work it ...
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90 views

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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237 views

Potential energy of a spring

I have a little problem with the potential energy of a spring... I hope you can help me! I have two coupled pendula, given by two masses $m$ fixed to two rigid bars (that haven't any mass) and with ...
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29 views

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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What kind of potential profile that an electron live in provides bound state energy levels?

Given the electron Hamiltonian $$H=T+V(r)$$ where $T$ is the kinetic energy, $V$ is the potential energy and it is not necessarily isotropic. If $$V \sim -\frac1{|r|},$$ we have hydrogen-like bound ...
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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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25 views

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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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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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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66 views

Is there a way to measure the energy stored in a twisted rubber band?

I am building an energy storage device using rubber bands. It contains 24 bands which are twisted by a set of gears. I would like to measure (or predict) the amount of energy that the device can ...
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Writing Schrodinger equation with central potential in Atomic unit

I'm struggling to write Schrodinger equation with a central potential in Atomic unit. $$ ...
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68 views

Variation of Electrostatic Potential with Distance in a Uniform Field

I came across this question in a problem book: If a proton is released from rest in a uniform electric field, does the electric potential at those points where the electron moves increase or decrease. ...
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Questions regarding rubbing catfur on glass

I have certain questions regarding the electrostatic charge developed by this rubbing effects: 1-what is the threshold for electrostatic charges by this process? 2-can we define potential energy ...
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155 views

Saddle point and transition state of a molecule

During a transition of a molecule from one state to another, it pass through a transition state. This transition state, mathematically speaking, is a saddle point. That means, the second derivative ...
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Active and passive transformations and the change in potential energy

Under active transformation, the particle moves. On the other hand, for a passive one, the coordinate is just relabel. I've read that the passive one will not affect the potential energy and the ...
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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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105 views

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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183 views

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 ...