Solution for OnLine Homework 23 Gravitation II
Solution to OnLine Homework Problem 23.1()
Problem:
What can be said about the work done by a conservative
force along a
closed
path?
Select One of the Following:
(a) It is the force times the total distance travelled,
2
πR
if the path is circular.
(bAnswer) It is the force times the total distance
travelled in the direction of the force, but since
the path is closed, the total work is zero.
(c) There is no way to tell from this information,
since the path probably isn’t circular, so the path
is not always perpendicular to the force.
Solution
The total work is zero. Remember that work is always
done by a force
outside
the system. If we instead include
the object exerting the force in the system and talk about
potential energy, then the potential energy an object has at
point
A
will always be the same, no matter what route the
object takes to get there. These are basically two different
ways to say the same thing; the difference is which way
the system is defined.
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 Spring '08
 Stewart
 Physics, Energy, Force, Potential Energy, Work

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