7 Conservative Force Examples: Detailed Explanations


In this article, let us discuss the conservative force and conservative force examples.

A type of force that depends only on the initial and final position of the body undergoing motion and has nothing to do with the body’s path is considered a conservative force. The conservation of energy is observed in the case of a conservative force.

The very well-known Gravitational force is an example of a conservative force.

Let us briefly discuss the different conservative force examples in the upcoming section.

Conservative force examples

Properties of a conservative force

What do you mean by a Non-conservative force?

Non-conservative force fails to obey the criteria to be conservative.

In a non-conservative force, the path taken by the body also decides the amount of work done by it. Frictional force depicts the nature of non-conservative force. The system’s mechanical energy is increased or decreased due to work done by the conservative force, thus does not obey the law of conservation of energy.

The energy is not preserved, and there cannot be a complete energy recovery after losing.

Properties of Non-conservative force

1. Weight of an object

 The amount of the gravitational force or pull that acts on a body due to the earth directly contributes to the weight of that body. We know that the weight of an object does not change following the path it travels, as the gravitational force is concerned only with the object’s position. Thus the weight of an object best depicts the conservative force nature.

2. Spring action

A mechanical force (external) is necessary to be applied to the ends of the spring if it has to be stretched. The spring is said to possess some energy that remains non-dissipative in it. The spring conserves the energy by regaining its initial shape when the mechanical force acting on it is removed. Work is done in spring stretching, which is reversible. Thus, spring stretching is also one of the conservative force examples.

3. Poles of a magnet

We know that a magnet’s number of poles is two. One is the north pole, and the other is the south pole. The magnetic field due to this magnet gives rise to imaginary field lines that start from the north pole and stop at the south pole. A material placed in the magnetic field experiences an attractive or a repulsive force depending upon whether it is a paramagnetic or ferromagnetic substance. The attractive or repulsive forces change accordingly with the object’s position but are independent of the path it follows; this makes it a conservative force examples

conservative force examples
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4. Elastic band stretching

Applying a force (pull) on the two ends is necessary to stretch an elastic band. The original shape of the band is changed due to the application of mechanical force; this change is observed to be temporary as the same shape is retained by the object when we remove the applied force. In this way, the energy that is said to be existing in the elastic band is preserved without dissipation. Hence, the stretching of a rubber band falls under conservative force examples.

conservative force examples
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5. A charged comb

A charge is said to be developed on the comb teeth after it is used for combing; we can check this by bringing the charged comb near paper bits and observing that the paper bits get attached to the comb. The paper particles are attracted due to work done by the electrostatic force, which can reverse. Hence electrostatic force is considered to be a conservative force.

Image credits: Pixabay free images

6. The freefall of objects on the ground

The earth’s gravitational force is the reason for the free fall of objects on the ground. The objects would have been expected to float in the air if the earth’s gravitational pull was absent. Thus, the fall of objects results from gravity or gravitational force. Since we already mentioned that the gravitational force is conservative, the free fall of objects is also conservative.

conservative force examples
Image credits: Pixabay free images

7. Magnetic force

A magnetic force results when two particles that are electrically charged travel together. The force of magnetism is a velocity-dependent vector; in turn, it depends on the particle’s position; hence, it can be considered a conservative force.

Frequently asked questions| FAQS

What is the difference between the conservative and non-conservative forces?

Non-conservative forces are opposite the conservative forces.

        Conservative forces.    Non-conservative forces
It has nothing to do with the path the body takesThe path taken by the object influences Non-conservative forces.
It is affected by only the initial and final position of the body undergoing motion.The initial and final velocities also affect the force.
No work is said to be done by a conservative force in case of a closed path.In the case of a closed path, work is said to be done by the non-conservative force.
In general, reversible work is done by the conservative force.An irreversible work is said to be done by a non-conservative force.
Examples: Gravitational force, electric force, and magnetic force.Examples: Frictional force, viscous force.

What do you mean by a conservative field?

The Conservative field is related to the conservative force.

The Conservative force is said to be felt or experienced in a field region. This field is known to be the conservative field.

How is the electric field a conservative field?

The reason why the electric field is considered to be a conservative field is given below,

The path on which a particle moves inside the electric field has nothing to do with the electric constituent of force that the particle posses. In contrast, the initial and final positions contribute to the deviation of the magnitude of electric force. Also, the energy is said to be conserved.

In the case of electric force, thus it’s a conservative force example, and hence the field is conservative. No work is said to be done by an electric force in the case of a closed path.

Harshitha H N

Hi.....I am Harshitha H N. I have completed my master's in Physics from the University of Mysore with a specialization in Nuclear physics. I am well versed in the field of Latex, GAMESS software, and AVAGADRO software. I enjoy exploring new things in my free time. My article always aims to develop and bring some value to the table with relevant topics. Let’s connect through LinkedIn- https://www.linkedin.com/in/harshitha-h-n-368418249

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