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Homework Help: Potential energy i think

  1. Jun 1, 2007 #1
    Can a system have energy if nothing is moving in the system?

    this is my conclusion

    A system at rest can have potential energy. Kinetic energy is associated with objects that are moving or in motion. If a system is in a state of rest or not moving, the energy it has is stored.

    I know that is a true statement if the object is suspended in the air but what if it is lying on a flat surface on the ground.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 1, 2007 #2
    Well, please specify what is in this system. If it is mass, yes it does have potential energy. Note that with particles, according to the 3rd Thermodynamic Law, Absolute Zero cannot be attained, thus this is only theoritical.

    As for the object lying on the ground, it is not fully yet understood. Although in simplistic terms, the idea can be thought of as: if you move an object away from a gravitational field, you do work on it - this energy gets transferred to the object as 'Gravitational Potential Energy'...

    As for your question, in simplistic terms, yes - counting that there is mass within the system. Hope that answers your question.
  4. Jun 2, 2007 #3
    Yes it does answer my question.
    Thank you very much
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