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- Created 2012-03-12
is the energy of an object or a system due to the position of the body or the arrangement of the particles of the system.
for measuring work and energy is the
was coined by the 19th century Scottish engineer and physicist
, although it has links to Greek philosopher
's concept of
Potential energy is associated with a set of forces that act on a body in a way that depends only on the body's position in space. This allows the set of forces to be considered as having a specified vector at every point in space forming what is known as a
of forces, or a
. If the work of forces of this type acting on a body that moves from a start to an end position is defined only by these two positions and does not depend on the trajectory of the body between the two, then there is a function known as a
that can be evaluated at the two positions to determine this work. Furthermore, the force field is defined by this potential function, also called
from Wikipedia (last updated: 21 May), licensed under
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