Potential for Strain energy
When a conservative force does work, it is independent of the path, we define the potential and work done is given by - (change in potential).
We define potentials for gravitational force, electrical force etc...
Assuming the body is linear elastic, internal forces, cause stresses in a body, are also conservative forces, whose work (strain energy) is independent of the path. Can we define potential for such internal forces? If so, we can calculate strain energy = -(change in potential).
You may kindly explain this.
Thanks in advance,