I feel your pain. That happens to me all the time. Sometimes, when I'm real serious about a post, I'll type in in notepad and then paste it into physicsforums.alexepascual said:I am quite frustrated because I had just typed a response to your post and it suddenly dissapeared and the editor window appeared blank again.
I appologize for the misunderstanding. I figured that we were in agreement, and only took the opportunity to elaborate (and have some well-thought discussion).alexepascual said:Actually it is not my analogy/personification but Maupertui's
So, it looks like we agree more than it first appeared.
I suppose this formalism does not include "constraint forces" as "impressed forces," then? Or perhaps you meant to type "dissipative constraint forces?"alexepascual said:... the forces of inertia would not cancel the impressed forces when there is a constraint that has not been eliminated by a change of coordinates.
Consider a planetary orbit. The planet reduces its potential energy (more negative) by approaching the Sun, but at the expense of increasing its kinetic energy, for a net change of zero. Furthermore, the planet eventually increases its potential energy on the "other side of the orbit" in the absense of any outside force. It does this because it is following a path of stationary (extremum, in this case) proper length in space-time, not because it seeks to minimize its potential energy (obviously, since the potential energy oscillates/does not vary monotonically).marlon said:That's why I thought (apparently i am wrong) that work must be minimal, because every process in nature wants to evolve to that state of lowest potential energy (the equilibrium)