(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

The potential energy of two atoms in a diatomic molecule is approximated by

U(r)=a/r^12 - b/r^6,

whereris the spacing between the atoms andaandbare positive constants.

Find the force F(r) on one atom as a function ofr.

Make two graphs one of U(r) versus r and one of F(r) versus r.

2. Relevant equations

F(r) = -(dU/dr)

3. The attempt at a solution

I know F(r) = -(dU/dr).

So, F(r) = (12a/r^13) - (6b/r^7)

And then I get stuck. I don't know how to make a plot of U(r) vsrand F(r) vsrwhen I don't knowaandb.

I want to plug values of r=[0.1, 0.2, 0.3, ...] into the F(r) equation, but I have no idea what to do aboutaandb.

This question has been asked before on this forum and I have looked at the hints, but I am still completely lost.

Could someone please get me pointed in the right direction.

Thanks.

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# How to graph potential energy for 2 atoms in diatomic molecule w/ 3 unknowns

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