1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal 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!

I Is there a name for this fact in physics? is it a theorem?

  1. Sep 14, 2016 #1
    Hi guys,

    So just wondering - the fact that the force is always the negative derivative of potential with respect to distance:
    [itex]F=-\dfrac{\partial V}{\partial x}[/itex]

    Where does this come from and does it have a name or something? like a theorem perhaps?

    Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2016 #2

    robphy

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Such a force is called a "conservative force", a "force derivable from a potential energy function".
    However, not all forces are like this... for example, kinetic friction force is not of this type.
     
  4. Sep 14, 2016 #3

    dextercioby

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    It is not a theorem in physics, but one in mathematics called "the lemma of Poincare", which, when applied to R^3, states that any conservative vector field (thus defined to have a 0 circulation along a closed path, equivalently having 0 curl) is the gradient of a scalar field we call potential.
     
  5. Sep 15, 2016 #4

    PeroK

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    The equivalent in Quantum Mechanics is called the Ehrenfest Theorem. There's lots about that online.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Is there a name for this fact in physics? is it a theorem?
  1. Weird Facts of Physics (Replies: 59)

  2. Physics Theorem? (Replies: 6)

Loading...