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potential energy

Jayadeep U. B.'s picture

Principle of minimum potential energy -- why is it true?

Dear all,

Two fundamental concepts from thermodynamics are that systems try to minimise their potential energy, whereas the tendency is to maximise the entropy (ofcourse I am not at all precise in the above statement, but I hope I am able to convey the matter.  Further, the two can be combined in the form of a free enrgy as applicable to the system under consideration).

L2020's picture

Potential energy of a string


I have to use Hamilton pricinple to evaluate the diff. equation of motion of a string. As shown in the figure below, the string is hanged from one end and is free at the other. The flexural stiffness of the string is negligible.

I have a problem with the potential energy of the string! required in the Hamilton principle. Since the flexural stiffness of the string is assumed to be negligible, is there any other term for potential energy? 


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