calculus-based physics for scientists and engineers

Potential Energy Curves

Gravitational Potential Energy Curves

Potential energy curves are graphical representations of the potential energy. They contain an enormous wealth of information if you understand how to read them. We'll start by looking at gravity

Potential Energy Curves

Here we look at other potential energy curves and the concept of equilibrium. Equilibrium is when the force is zero. Because the force is the negative derivative of the potential energy function, the function has an extremum at this point. Equilibrium points can be stable (second derivative positive), unstable (second derivative negative), or neutral (potential is flat).


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Required Problems

Optional Problems