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Homework Help: Conservative system

  1. Jul 21, 2009 #1

    Could someone tell me what a conservative system in classical mechanics is? Is it

    a) a system in that each particle's total energy is constant


    b) a system whose total energy is constant, but the individual particles' total energies may change.

    THX, fortaq
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 21, 2009 #2
    the answer is b)
  4. Jul 22, 2009 #3
    Conservative in terms of what?

    If it's in terms of matter, then it's a 'closed' system.

    If its matter and energy it's an 'isolated' system.
  5. Jul 22, 2009 #4
    In terms of matter and energy.

    But is a conservative system in fact identical with an isolated one?
  6. Jul 22, 2009 #5
    To add to my initial question:
    Is a conservative system not a system in that all forces are conservative? In that case, namely, answer a) should be true.
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