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Conservative force, kinetic energy

  1. Oct 18, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A single conservative force F(x) acts on a 2.4 kg particle that moves along an x axis. The potential energy U(x) associated with F(x) is given by
    U(x) = -4xe-x/4
    where x is in meters. At x = 5.0 m the particle has a kinetic energy of 5.2 J. (a) What is the mechanical energy of the system? (b) What is the maximum kinetic energy of the particle and (c) the value of x at which it occurs?


    2. Relevant equations
    Emech=K+U

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I know how to find the mechanical energy, but I don't know how to do the derivative of U(x) so that I can do b) and c) even though its simple.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2009 #2
    this should be enough to find it

    the derivative of e^x is e^x
    the derivative of f(x)g(x) = f'(x)g(x) + f(x)g'(x)
    the derivative of f(g(x)) = g'(x) f'(g(x))
     
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