The author makes much of saying saying that we won't say there is a PE
associated with the system of two masses, since we can't locate the
energy in either body. Therefore they conclude that it resides in the
I fail to see what is wrong with associating PE with the system, the
distance between the objects being the state variable. They mention this
interpretation and then reject it.
I suppose they must do the same thing when it comes to discussing PE of
a system of 2 charges. I.e. the modelers calculate energy in a charge
configuration by integrating E^2 over a volume, rather than by
I have to go to class, now so I can't write more;
Any comments, discussion?
Department of Physics - SDSU