# Potential Energy Principle

## Homework Statement

how to prove the potential energy principle?

how do you make sense of the potential energy principle ie -dU/dX = F(x). What does the principle really mean?

## Homework Equations

-dU/dX = F(x)
where U is the potential energy and F the force.

## The Attempt at a Solution

Not sure where to even start

mfb
Mentor
You can use that formula as definition for potential energy, then there is nothing to prove.

What is the exact problem statement?

The problem statement is to derive dU/dX = - F(x) , where U is the potential energy and F the force.

Can give an analogy for the equation?

mfb
Mentor
How did you define potential energy (and force) in your course?

How did you define potential energy (and force) in your course?

I am not taking any physics courses now. I asked the question for my general understanding as I came across that equation dU/dX = - F(x) somewhere. I'd like to know how it gets derived. And any examples you all can give to help visualise the principle. Thanks

mfb
Mentor
Usually U is defined that way. You cannot "prove" a definition.