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Feb20-07, 11:00 PM
P: 1,350
magnets aren't so bad a way of thinking about potential energy, at least in the case of repulsion. If you bring a pair of magnets together that are aligned to repel, the closer you get the two together before release the greater the action--in fact with weak magnets they might need to be almost on top of each other before showing any real interest in moving apart. Now for an attractive force in the everyday world, its less obvious. But consider a rock of 100 pounds. Dropped from an inch theres not a lot of potential energy waiting to be unleashed, drop it from an 8 story building on ones head, gonna be a mess. So potential energy is like future profit potential. Its the potential to be a big deal. In some situations the closer the objects are, its greater, in others, further away. Physics is easier than economics in many ways. But if you want to succedd in biz, in the 21'st century and beyond the biz man who has a solid understanding of physics, engr and technology has a huge advantage over his/her less well educated colleague or competitor.