Goal: Relate force to potential energy function
potential energy function for a certain body is shown at right. For
which points is Fx = 0?
- Point 1 only
- Points 2 and 4
- Points 1 and 5
- Points 3 and 5
- Point 3 only
- Fx not equal to 0 anywheree
(4) The force is given by the negative of the slope of the
potential function. Points 3 and 5 are equilibrium points, but only 3 is
a stable equilibrium point. Students frequently choose answer #2
thinking that the force is zero at these points.