Definitions for conservative force

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  1. Conservative force

    A conservative force is a force with the property that the work done in moving a particle between two points is independent of the path taken. Equivalently, if a particle travels in a closed loop, the net work done by a conservative force is zero. A conservative force is dependent only on the position of the object. If a force is conservative, it is possible to assign a numerical value for the potential at any point. When an object moves from one location to another, the force changes the potential energy of the object by an amount that does not depend on the path taken. If the force is not conservative, then defining a scalar potential is not possible, because taking different paths would lead to conflicting potential differences between the start and end points. Gravity is an example of a conservative force, while friction is an example of a non-conservative force.

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"conservative force." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/conservative force>.

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