Interaction Potential Energy

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ckilkeary 2G
Posts: 68
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Interaction Potential Energy

Postby ckilkeary 2G » Sun Nov 10, 2019 10:59 am

I know Lavelle said something in class about this but I wasn't fast enough to write it down. So in terms of the Interaction potential energy equation that he gave us (the one that has the divided by r^6), why is the potential energy always negative?

Adam Kramer 1A
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Interaction Potential Energy

Postby Adam Kramer 1A » Sun Nov 10, 2019 11:40 am

potential energy is always negative because the force is pulling to objects together. If it was a force pushing the two atoms apart, it would be positive.

Alex Chen 2L
Posts: 86
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:21 am

Re: Interaction Potential Energy

Postby Alex Chen 2L » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:55 pm

Another way to think about it is that energy input is required to break interactions/bonds. Therefore, a positive energy input is required to overcome/cancel out the negative potential energy that an interaction has.

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