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what does the formula F=-dU/dx actually mean ? where du is the work done in a small period, f is the force and dx is a symbol for arbitrary displacement. how and where do we use this formula. suppose a body moves in the path of a rectangle and starts from the bottom left corner say a then moves right up left and down coming to the same position. so logically one can saw that the work is zero but how and can we incorporate this formula ? do we resolve the force? basically can we use this formula to calculate if the energy is conserved or there is no work. if yes then how

what does the formula F=-dU/dx actually mean ? where du is the work done in a small period, f is the force and dx is a symbol for arbitrary displacement. how and where do we use this formula. suppose a body moves in the path of a rectangle and starts from the bottom left corner say a then moves right up left and down coming to the same position. so logically one can saw that the work is zero but how and can we incorporate this formula ? do we resolve the force? basically can we use this formula to calculate if the energy is conserved or there is no work. if yes then how

Grade:12

1 Answers

Sumit Majumdar IIT Delhi
askIITians Faculty 137 Points
7 years ago
Dear student,
If we can find a force which when acting on an object is a function of position only, it is said to be a conservative force, and it can be represented by a potential energy function which in the case of a one-dimensional case, satisfies the derivative condition.
So, dU is the change in Potential Energy and not the total energy and dx is the displacement covered in doing so.
Regards

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