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Conervative Forces

  1. Jan 13, 2010 #1
    Hi, I understand that a conservative force cannot depend on velocity, because by changing velocity we can do different work on the same path. But how can I show this mathematically, for a general force depending on velocity? Is the curl always zero for such a force?

    Thank you?

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2010 #2


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    Are you sure about that? What about the force a magnetic field exerts on a moving charge?
  4. Jan 13, 2010 #3
    Yeah, you are right. As far as I know some people see the magnetic force as a conservative force although it depends on velocity, because the work done by it on a particle is always zero. I do not know any other force with this property. Maybe I have to reformulate the question as how do we show that a velocity dependent force is not conservative, which has nonzer work on the particle?
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