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Conservative Force

  1. Sep 24, 2008 #1
    I have a question about conservative forces.

    'A particle is moving according to r = a cos(wt) i + b sin(wt) j, where a and b are constants, w is angular velocity, r is a vector and i,j are unit vectors that point the same direction as the x and y axes, respectively. I am asked to determine if this force is conservative or not.'

    Sure, the orbit of the particle is ellipse, but how can I determine if this force is conservative or not? Please, help me.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2008 #2
    First, calculate the acceleration of the particle at any point on the trajectory. Use second Newton's Law to calculate the force. Then calculate the work of the force during one revolution. If it integrates to zero, the force is conservative.
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