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!

Homework Help: Potential energy

  1. Apr 15, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Consider the force F=(y2z3 − 6xz2)i + 2xyz3j + (3xy2z2 − 6x2z)k.

    I've solved the first part of the problem that asked if the force was conservative (it was) and what was the potential energy of the force(U)

    U=-y2z3+3x2z2+c , c E ℝ

    Find the balance points.
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I know the balance points are gotten trough derivation of U and equalating it to 0. However I don't know what should i use to derivate it with. ∂U/∂x + ∂U/∂y = 0 ? Doesn't help me much... Help would be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2012 #2
    Hi Jalo,

    I find it a bit unclear what 'balance points' refer to here - my only guess is potential minima, which will have to be in all three dimensions at once (not just x and y like you guessed). Consider the gradient of the potential function and see if that leads you anywhere,

    Hope this helps,
    Bill Mills
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2012
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook