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Homework Help: Total mechanical energy of a system

  1. Aug 28, 2005 #1
    is it true that the total mechanical energy of a system is equally divided between kinetic energy and potential energy?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2005 #2
    That is the definition, yes, but you should definitely realize that there are many more forms of energy in real life, but they just get messy and complicated if you try to introduce them into simple problems.
  4. Aug 28, 2005 #3


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    Homework Helper

    I don't see how that could be. The reason we keep track of potential energy is because it can change into kinetic energy, and vice versa. The ratio of kinetic to potential energy is constantly changing.
  5. Aug 28, 2005 #4


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    EQUALLY being the key word here...The answer is no. Think about it. An object can have potential but no kinetic energy and vice versa. You my possibly be meaning that KE and PE are combined to make the entire energy in the system...but it is not split evenly between the two.
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