- #1

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can a matter have negative energy?

or more appropriately what makes some energy as negative?

or more appropriately what makes some energy as negative?

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- Thread starter nouveau_riche
- Start date

- #1

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can a matter have negative energy?

or more appropriately what makes some energy as negative?

or more appropriately what makes some energy as negative?

- #2

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- #3

- 253

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isn't that anything that has positive mass have positive energy?

i am not certain on that

- #4

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isn't that anything that has positive mass have positive energy?

i am not certain on that

I think you need to step back and learn a bit more on classical mechanics.

One can easily see that, for example, in attractive energies (example: gravitational potential), it is DEFINED that zero is at infinity, and that the gravitational potential well is defined as being negative!

The same can be said about the potential that an electron has in an atom (look at the potential energy term in the Schrodinger equation).

So you need to learn a bit more of what we mean by negative energy, and why it is rather arbitrary in some sense.

Zz.

- #5

Bill_K

Science Advisor

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nouveau_riche, You are absolutely correct, and this isisn't that anything that has positive mass have positive energy?

i am not certain on that

The statement you made, "anything that has positive mass must have positive energy" is known as the Positive Energy Theorem or Positive Mass Conjecture, and has been proved under rather general assumptions. See the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_energy_theorem, or google Positive Energy Theorem and you will find many references to it.

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