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Homework Help: Potential Energy of a system of particles

  1. Oct 20, 2008 #1
    A system consists of three particles, each of mass 4.00 g, located at the corners of an equilateral triangle with sides of 36.0 cm.

    (a) Calculate the potential energy of the system.

    m = .004, d = .2078

    UG = Gm1m2/R
    U_total = sum of U_i
    U_total = Gm1m2/R + Gm1m3/R + Gm2m3/R
    U_total = [((6.67300E-11)(.004)(.004))/(.2078)] * 3
    U_total = 1.5414E-14

    Final answer is incorrect. Any ideas?

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2008 #2


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    How did you get d = .2078 ? That looks wrong to me, though I haven't seen your attachment yet.
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