Goal: Hone the concept of potential energy functions
potential energy function for a certain body is shown at right. If the
body is released from rest at a location corresponding to point 4, the
object would …
- move towards larger values of x.
- move towards smaller values of x.
- remain stationary.
- oscillate back and forth.
- None of the above
- Cannot be determined
(2) At position 4 the object experiences a force toward the
origin given by the negative of the slope of the potential curve.
Frequently students interpret the fact that U is zero at point 4 to mean
that there is no force.