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Question

What do you mean by conservation of mechanical energy? State the condition when it holds

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Solution

Mechanical energy is the sum of the potential and kinetic energies in a system. The principle of the conservation of mechanical energy states that the total mechanical energy in a system (i.e., the sum of the potential plus kinetic energies) remains constant as long as the only forces acting are conservative forces.

A conservative force is a force with the property that the total work done in moving a particle between two points is independent of the taken path.

Examples: the force of gravity and the spring force are conservative forces.

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