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    Loss of energy as a child goes to and fro on a swing

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    According to the principle of conservation of energy, when a child plays on a swing the potential energy he possesses at the top of his path is converted to kinetic energy as he falls and back to potential energy as he swings up on the other side. According to this description, a child should be able to swing indefinitely without a push from a friend or parent. Explain why this is not the case in practice.

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    Let us imagine a situation where there is no loss of energy on any account whatsoever (air friction, friction between the chain/rope and the hook etc.). In such an idealistic situation, the child will indeed be able to swing indefinitely once ...

    Solution Summary

    The expert examines the loss of energy as a child goes to and fro on a swing.