How to apply law of conservation of energy in mechanics

We often comes across the problems in mechanics where we need to apply the law of conservation of energy where gravitational potential energy or gravity is involved . For solving such problems you can consider the following problem solving strategy,

  1. First of all define the system which includes all the interacting bodies . Now choose a zero point for gravitational potential energy according to your convenience.
  2. Select the body of interest and identify the point about which information is given in the question. Also identify the point where you want to find out asked quantity about the body of interest.
  3. Check for the possibility of the presence of non-conservative forces. If there are no non-conservative forces present then write down the energy conservation equation for the system and identify the unknown quantity asked in the question.
  4. Solve the equation for the unknown quantities asked in the question by substituting the given quantities in the equation obtained.

Mechanics :- Work and Energy (points to remember)


1. Work done on an object by a constant force F is
W=Fx
where F is the magnitude of the force, Δx is the magnitude of the displacement,and F and Δx point in the same direction.
SI unit of work : joule ( J) newton.meter
2. Work done is a simple number that is it is a scalar quantity not a vector. So there is no direction associated with it. Energy and energy transfer are also scalar quantities.
3. The kinetic energy KE of an object of mass m moving with a speed v is
defined by
T=1/2(mv2)
SI unit: joule ( J) kg.m2/s2
4. The net work done on an object is equal to the change in the object’s
kinetic energy: Wtot=Tf-Ti=ΔT
where the change in the kinetic energy is due entirely to the object’s change in speed
5. A force is conservative if the work it does moving an object between two points is the same no matter what path is taken.
6. The gravitational potential energy of a system consisting of the Earth and an object of mass m near the Earth’s surface is given by
V=mgy
where g is the acceleration due to gravity and y is the vertical position of the mass with respect to the surface of the Earth (or some other reference point).

Paramagnetic Substances

Paramagnetic substances are those materials which when placed in magnetic field becomes weakly magnetized in the direction of the external field. Some examples of paramagnetic substances are platinum, aluminium, chromium, manganese, copper sulphate, liquid oxygen etc. When a paramagnetic bar is placed in the magnetic field , the magnetic flux density in it is greater than the magnetic flux density B0 in the vacuum. Thus the relative permeability of the paramagnetic substances is slightly greater then 1. The magnetic flux density due to magnetization is small but positive. The susceptibility of these substances decreases with increase in temperature. Paramagnetic substances are used in the measurement of low temperature.
Properties:-

  • A paramagnetic bar , suspended between the poles of a magnet shows opposite poles to those of the magnet in its end.
  • Paramagnetic substances have a tendency to move from weaker to the stronger parts in a non-uniform magnetic field.
  • Paramagnetic substances obeys Curie's law  

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