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What IS potential energy?

  1. Apr 9, 2012 #1
    If
    Work= [itex]\int[/itex]Fdx
    and
    Potential Energy, U= -[itex]\int[/itex]Fdx

    What is Work in terms of potential (and potential and kinetic) energy?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_energy#Overview and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forms_of_energy#Potential_energy don't seem to agree on this. It seems odd that as work and potential energy seem so similar that W= -[itex]\Delta[/itex]U

    Also, why does Work= [itex]\int[/itex]Fdx mean that, for a conservative force, F=grad(W)?
     
  2. jcsd
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