Hunus
  • Hunus
Elastic potential energy
Physics
jamiebookeater
  • jamiebookeater
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Hunus
  • Hunus
|dw:1335300188613:dw| When does the spring have negative potential energy?
Hunus
  • Hunus
Does it?
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
Good question! Do you know the expression of this type of potential energy?

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Hunus
  • Hunus
\[\frac{kx^{2}}{2}\]
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
So...
Hunus
  • Hunus
Well, when you have the equation \[F_x=-\frac{\partial U}{\partial x}\] what force does F_x represent?
Hunus
  • Hunus
Because if F is the force of the spring, then wouldn't it be positive on the third picture? And if it was positive wouldn't dudx have to be negative?
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
Your problem is not asking about a negative force, but about a negative energy. For which x can ½kx² be negative?
Hunus
  • Hunus
I'm reading through a book on classical mechanics and I'm having a difficult time understanding when the force is positive\[F_x=−\frac{∂U}{∂x}\]
mos1635
  • mos1635
when F positive dx is negative??
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
Draw the function U(x)=½kx² For what values of x is the tangent to the curve positive/negative ? As Fx = -dU/dx, you will know the sign of Fx.
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
dU/dx is the derivative of U with respect to x. Its value is the gradient of the tangent to the curve at point (x,U(x)).
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
Quote : Well, when you have the equation Fx=−∂U/∂x what force does F_x represent? Answer : it reprensents the force exerted by the spring on the block.
Hunus
  • Hunus
Thank you
Vincent-Lyon.Fr
  • Vincent-Lyon.Fr
Welcome :)

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