College Physics (4th Edition)

Published by McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 10: 0073512141
ISBN 13: 978-0-07351-214-3

Chapter 17 - Conceptual Questions - Page 649: 5

Answer

Zero work but might still need an external force.

Work Step by Step

It requires 0 total work to move from point A to point B. However, it might still require a force to move the particle. Imagine two potential wells with a hill in the middle. To move from one well to the other, some energy must be given to the particle to get it over the hill. However, it can then be removed again as the particle comes down the hill on the other side. So you might need to do positive work to get it going in the right direction and then negative work can be done once you're partway there.
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