Definition of a Conservative Force

Definition of a Conservative Force - Definition of a...

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Definition of a Conservative Force So exactly what kinds of forces conserve mechanical energy? To answer this we consider particles traveling in closed loops under the influence of the forces in question. In other words, a closed loop describes a "round trip", during which the particle is under influence of the force. Many systems produce closed loops, such as a ball bouncing up and down, or a mass on a spring. If a conservative force acts upon the particle during this closed loop, the velocity of the particle at the beginning and the end of the loop must be the same. Why? Because if the velocity is any different, the kinetic energy of the particle will be different, meaning that mechanical energy must not have been conserved. Thus we come to our first statement about conservative forces: If a body is under the action of a force that does no net work during any closed loop, then the force is conservative. If work is done, the force is nonconservative. In other words, a particle located at the same physical location in a closed loop must have the
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Definition of a Conservative Force - Definition of a...

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