This preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.
This preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.View Full Document
Unformatted text preview: POTENTIAL ENERGY Potential energy is energy that is a function of position only. A potential energy function U(x, y, z) exists only for conservative forces. A conservative force is a force that does the same amount of work on an object when the object undergoes a displacement regardless of the path taken. The work done by a conservative force is path independent. The work done by a conservative force for all closed paths is zero. Conservative forces conserve total mechanical energy. All constant forces are conservative because they do not depend on path or anything else. If a force has a component with explicit time- dependence, then that force is non- conservative. Different paths for the same displacement would involve non- equal time intervals such that the time- dependent force would do varying work for the same change of position. All dissipating forces such as kinetic friction or drag forces are non- conservative because they dissipate mechanical energy. If the force is variable and its x-...
View Full Document