can the kinetic energy of a system be negative?


by meredith
Tags: energy, kinetic, negative
meredith
meredith is offline
#1
Nov11-08, 04:04 PM
P: 16
what about the gravitational potential energy of a system?

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
NA


[b]2. Relevant equations
NA
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pimpalicous
pimpalicous is offline
#2
Nov11-08, 04:13 PM
P: 16
Nope. Think of the formula for KE. Mass is never negative, and even if the velocity is negative, its squared so the negative sign goes away.

Gravitational Potential can be negative depending on where you define your potential to be zero. But really, only changes in potential energy are relevant. Its only when the gravitational potential energy changes that the KE changes, a force is exerted, etc.


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