# Potential-energy diagram help

• fsm
In summary, the conversation discusses the use of potential-energy diagrams and solving for velocities in relation to changes in potential energy and the conservation of mechanical energy. The mass of the particle is given as 500g and the equation K.E. = 1/2 mv² is suggested as a way to solve for velocities at different points on the diagram. However, the context and specific problem statement are needed for a complete understanding and accuracy in solving the problem. The conversation also mentions the potential for different sources of potential energy and the potential variables that could affect the velocity solution, such as a ball rolling down an incline without slipping or a cylinder instead of a ball.
fsm
I am given a potential-energy diagram with the vertical axis is potential-energy and the horizontal axis is x. The mass of the particle is 500g.

They are asking the velocities of b, c, and d. I am completely lost. I can't even find an example in the book. This isn't good :(

The Homework Posting Template asks you to list what equations and principles apply to your problem. What can you say about changes in PE? What is the PE of a mass that is raised some height against the force of gravity?

If its not potential then what is it?

If what's not potential?

There are several different sources of PE, right? It can come from compression of a spring, or storing compressed air, or the form that I think the OP problem is referring to. But without the exact problem statement and context, it's hard to say.

fsm -- can you please post the exact text of the question, and maybe say what you are studying at the moment. And then offer some ideas about how to solve the problem.

Hi fsm,

U need to know how to interpret graphs and the conservation of mechanical energy to do this. Ok, initially, the total energy of the particle is 5J. At point B, it has lost some P.E. and what's left is 2J. Some of the P.E. has been converted into K.E. which is 3J. U know the mass of the particle (500g). U can use the equation K.E. = 1/2 mv² and solve for v. Do the same for points C and D. U should get the answers pretty fast.

Hope that helps.

NTUENG said:
Hi fsm,

U need to know how to interpret graphs and the conservation of mechanical energy to do this. Ok, initially, the total energy of the particle is 5J. At point B, it has lost some P.E. and what's left is 2J. Some of the P.E. has been converted into K.E. which is 3J. U know the mass of the particle (500g). U can use the equation K.E. = 1/2 mv² and solve for v. Do the same for points C and D. U should get the answers pretty fast.

Hope that helps.

Except, what if it's a ball rolling down an incline without slipping -- how does that change the velocity answer? And what would be different if it were a cylinder instead of a ball? We aren't given enough information by the OP to just say use 1/2mv^2.

## 1. What is a potential-energy diagram?

A potential-energy diagram is a graph that shows the changes in potential energy of a system as a function of its position or configuration. It is commonly used in physics and chemistry to visualize the energy changes that occur during a reaction or process.

## 2. How is potential energy represented on a potential-energy diagram?

Potential energy is typically represented on the y-axis of a potential-energy diagram, with higher values indicating higher potential energy. The x-axis represents the position or configuration of the system.

## 3. What is the significance of the shape of a potential-energy diagram?

The shape of a potential-energy diagram can provide important information about the stability and energy changes of a system. A steep slope indicates a large change in potential energy, while a shallow slope means a smaller change. The position of the peaks and valleys on the diagram can also indicate the equilibrium position of the system.

## 4. How is a potential-energy diagram helpful in understanding a reaction?

A potential-energy diagram can help visualize the energy changes that occur during a reaction, including the activation energy and the overall change in potential energy. It can also provide insight into the stability of the products and reactants, and the feasibility of the reaction.

## 5. Can a potential-energy diagram be used for any type of system?

A potential-energy diagram can be used for any system where potential energy is a relevant factor, such as chemical reactions, physical processes, and even simple systems like a ball rolling down a hill. However, it may not be applicable for systems that involve quantum mechanics or nuclear reactions.

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