Oh hello there! I have a question about the normal force! In my mechanics class we are CONSTANTLY told that the normal force is not conservative. I don't doubt this for a second, if you imagine a ball rolling up and down an incline, the normal force is related to the velocity of the ball and the slope of the incline, and as far as I know, conservative forces are related only to position, not velocities. There were some mathematics done to show that this was the case, but I am short on time and will not reproduce them here. Anyway, from what I read, the normal force is non-conservative. SO! If the normal force is the repulsion of adjacent atoms... the normal force is pretty much just the electric force, right? It's not even 'pretty much' the electric force, as far as I can tell it is ONLY the electric force. And the electric force is a field force like gravity, right? Just with a different constant of nature. Gravity is accepted as a conservative force, and because it is similar in nature to the electric force I think that should be conservative too, and by extension, the normal force should be conservative! Why not?