# Best answer: Why potential energy is negative for attractive force?

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This is a negative value for two reasons; the force acting between them is attractive, and the zero of potential energy is at infinite separation. This is a negative result if the force between the two charges is attractive (they are opposite) and positive if it is repulsive (the charges are similar).

## Why attractive forces decrease potential energy?

As the atoms first begin to interact, the attractive force is stronger than the repulsive force and so the potential energy of the system decreases, as seen in the diagram. Remember that the lower potential energy increases the stability of the system.

## Why is potential energy positive for repulsive force?

Like the bonding potential energy, the stability of an arrangement of atoms is a function of the Lennard-Jones separation distance. As the separation distance decreases below equilibrium, the potential energy becomes increasingly positive (indicating a repulsive force).

## Does negative potential energy mean attraction?

Negative potential is just a potential that has attractive nature. If you see Earth’s potential, it is negative as it is attractive. If you study potential of electrons in atom, you will find it to be negative. The positively charged nucleus attracts the negatively charged electrons.

## Why is the potential energy negative?

Gravitational potential energy is negative at the surface of Earth, because work is done by the gravitational field in bringing a mass from infinity i.e work has to be done on a body, if it is taken away from the gravitational field of the earth. Thus, potential energy is negative.

## Why is the potential energy of two opposite charges negative?

“Potential energy” is defined as the negative of the work done by a conservative force (and the electric force is conservative). Work is the scalar-product of force and displacement: as two opposite charges move apart, the attractive force and displacement are oppositely directed, so their scalar product is negative.

## Do opposite charges attract potential energy?

Electrostatic or “Coulombic” Potential Energy

Opposite (+ and -) charges attract, just like the earth and any object, so the potential energy increases as we put effort in to separate the charges. … That is, because the charges attract each other, we must do work to pull them apart equivalent to 0.898 J.

## Is negative force attractive or repulsive?

When the charges have opposite sign, the force is attractive (negative F), while if both charges have the same sign, the force is repulsive (positive F).

## How is potential energy related to attractive forces?

We know that by F=−dU/dx formula that when force is attractive in nature potential energy increases and when force is repulsive, potential energy decreases.

## Does a negative force implies attractive nature?

Like charges repel and unlike charges attract. Coulomb’s law describes a force of infinite range which obeys the inverse square law, and is of the same form as the gravity force. … A negative force implies an attractive force. The force is directed along the line joining the two charges.

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## What does a negative force mean?

A negative force is the force acting on an object against the applied force. The applied force here is positive that is aimed in the right direction whereas a negative force acts in the left direction. An example of negative force is deceleration, where the speed of a moving object decreases due to gravitational force.

## What happens if potential is negative?

A negative potential energy means that work must be done against the electric field in moving the charges apart!