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Particle potential energy - acceleration?

  1. Mar 8, 2016 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    UCwHlZo.png

    2. Relevant equations
    ΔU = Uf - Ui

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Would I have to make the left side of the equation equal to m*a*x? Is the x on the left side equal to -100 m?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2016 #2

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    What's the formal relationship between force and potential energy?
     
  4. Mar 8, 2016 #3
    The derivative of potential energy equals force (Fx = -dU/dx). So the derivative would turn it to be: -C/(x2). Then it's just plugging in from there, correct?
     
  5. Mar 8, 2016 #4
    For the acceleration, I got -0.0011 m/s^2. Does that seem too small?
     
  6. Mar 8, 2016 #5

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    The magnitude looks good but its sign is suspect. Check the details of your derivative.
     
  7. Mar 8, 2016 #6
    Why isn't it negative, though? Since Fx = -dU/dx, wouldn't it be Fx = -(-C*-1*x-2)? It will still be negative.
     
  8. Mar 8, 2016 #7

    gneill

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    Staff: Mentor

    Oops. You're quite right. My mistake. o:)
     
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