- #1

fog37

- 1,568

- 108

conservative forces only depend on position (cannot depend on time), i.e. ##F(x)## and are equal to the spatial derivative of the potential energy function ##U(x)##:

$$F(x)= - \partial U(x)/\partial x$$

Conservative forces always have to change the kinetic energy KE and potential energy PE in such a way that the total mechanical energy ##ME=KE+PE= constant##.

What about nonconservative forces? They don't maintain the total mechanical energy ##(KE+PE)## constant as they act on an object. But can they still affect the value of ##PE##? They shouldn't, since there is no potential energy function associated to nonconservative forces...

thanks.