1. Not finding help here? Sign up for a free 30min tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Equilibrium stability

  1. Apr 9, 2006 #1
    In classical mechanics - virtual work lecture, for determining equilibrium stability we were told that second derivate of potential can be used. How?

    I've made a quick google search, but couldn't find anything remarkable.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2006 #2
    If [tex]\frac{\partial^2U}{\partial x^2}[/tex] is postive then U is at a minimum (basic calculus - second derivative test). If instead it is negative then U is at a maximum. A point of equilibrium is stable if U is minimum and unstable if U is maximum.
     
  4. Apr 9, 2006 #3
    I guess this because objects in a potential field tend move through where their potentials get lower?
     
  5. Apr 9, 2006 #4

    Physics Monkey

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Absolutely! After all, which way does the force point?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: Equilibrium stability
  1. Stability of bicycle (Replies: 3)

  2. Stability of bicycle. (Replies: 4)

  3. Stability of Orbits (Replies: 1)

Loading...