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General question about potential energy

  1. Mar 26, 2013 #1
    I have a general question. Is an increase in potential energy always associated with the decrease of the speed whatever the situation is. Vice verca, is a decrease in potential energy associated with the increase in the speed of the object assuming that only conservative forces are present? Thanks for anyone who contributes with ideas
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Depends on your view of the system.

    Speed depends on the reference frame - a deceleration in one system can be an acceleration in another.

    Rockets can increase their potential energy and their velocity (relative to the ground) at the same time, but they need energy for that.

    If you have an object without substructure in a closed system in a time-independent potential, an increase in potential energy always gives a reduced velocity.
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