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Homework Help: Want help regarding my classical mechanics assignment

  1. Nov 3, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I need to write a C program to simulate physics problems. My job is to write a code , in which I give the user a function F(x) = ax^n + bx^(n-1) + ...... , and user inputs the coefficients a,b,c .... and my computer code should tell whether the given force F(x) is conservative or not.

    Please tell me what is the condition for any f(x) to be conservative , I am good at C , but i have no idea about the condition .Please help me formulate this problem.

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 3, 2007 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Look at the definition of curl as given in cartesian coordinates:


    for a force to be conservative, the vector needs to be 0... ie the coefficient of [tex]\hat{x}[/tex], [tex]\hat{y}[/tex] and [tex]\hat{z}[/tex] are each equal to 0.

    In your formula, there are only x's... so I presume the force is acting in the x-direction... and depends only on the x-value... in that case the force is conservative already... no matter what coefficients you give...

    I think you need to incorporate y, z etc...
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