1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Potential Energy Principle

  1. Dec 14, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    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?

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

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not sure where to even start
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 14, 2014 #2

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

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

    What is the exact problem statement?
     
  4. Dec 14, 2014 #3
    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?
     
  5. Dec 14, 2014 #4

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    How did you define potential energy (and force) in your course?
     
  6. Dec 15, 2014 #5
    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
     
  7. Dec 15, 2014 #6

    mfb

    User Avatar
    2016 Award

    Staff: Mentor

    Usually U is defined that way. You cannot "prove" a definition.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted