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**Unformatted text preview: **exerted by the spring, which is a conservative force, is: F s = - kx , where k is the spring constant. Let us also assign an arbitrary value to the potential at the equilibrium point: U(0) = 0 . We can now use our relation between potential and work to find the potential of the system a distance x from the origin: U(x) - 0 = - (- kx)dx Implying that U(x) = kx 2 This equation is true for all x. A calculation of the same form can be completed for any conservative system, and we thus have a universal method for calculating potential energy....

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