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How is energy conserved?

  1. Apr 2, 2006 #1
    When considering fundamental forces and how they act on other objects, how is energy conserved? Charges and masses accelerated other bodies by attracting or repelling them, but they do not lose energy while they do it.

    A machine that keeps accelerating a body runs out of energy after a some time. Not so fundamental charges.

    So what am I missing?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2006 #2


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    Gold Member

    In these cases potential energy is being converted into kinetic.

    It takes energy to place two charges next to each other. This potential energy is now converted to kinetic as the two charges accelerate away from each other.

    I'm not sure if you were looking for a simple answer like that one or a more complicated one involving the theory behind the fundamental forces.
  4. Apr 2, 2006 #3
    Oh yeah, I see....I knew it was a silly question. Gravity and all fundamental forces are conservative forces. Of course.
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