Find total potential energy

  • Thread starter leonne
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  • #1
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Homework Statement


Now calculate the total potential energy of the Plummer mass distribution. Hint:
The answer should depend only on G, M, and a



Homework Equations


M(r)=Mr3/(r2+a2)3/2
p(r)=3Ma2/4pie(r2+a2)5/2


The Attempt at a Solution


looking at my notes i find a formula to find total potential energy
U=-4pieG integral from 0 to R M(r)P(r)r dr
What i am confused about is that it says hint answer only depends on G M a, but what about the R from the integral? it also said in the problem that hint integral from o to infinity x4dx/(x2+1)4 = pie/32

so looking at the hint integral, instead of doing integral from 0 to R would I just do it from 0 to infinity? That than would get rid of the R and just have answer of just G M a.
Is this right?
thanks
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,341
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The total potential energy is from R=0 to R=inf. You need to essentially sum up the potential energy at each distance.
 
  • #3
191
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o ok thxs
 
  • #4
sorry im a little bit confused so, after setting the integral from 0 to infinty, your answer should come out to be

-3M^2Ga(pie/32)?
 
  • #5
191
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i don't know i didn't do the integral yet ill let you know later when I do it.
 
  • #6
191
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yep that is the answer but its a^2 not a ... wow that was easy
 

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