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Differentiate between Stable, Unstable and Neutral equilibrium.

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StableUnstableNeutral
When a particle is displaced slightly from a position, then a force acting on it brings it back to the initial position, it is said to be in stable equilibrium position.When a particle is displaced slightly from a position, then a force acting on it tries to displace the particle further away from the equilibrium position, it is said to be in unstable equilibrium.When a particle is slightly displaced from a position then it does not experience any force acting on it and continues to be in equilibrium in the displaced position, it is said to be in neutral equilibrium.
Potential energy is minimum.Potential energy is maximum.Potential energy is constant.
F = - dU/dx = 0F = - dU/dx = 0F = - dU/dx = 0
d2U/dx2 = positive
i.e., rate of change of dU/dx is positive.
d2U/dx2 = negative
i.e., rate of change of dU/dx is negative.
d2U/dx2 = 0
i.e., rate of change of dU/dx is zero.
Example : A marble placed at the bottom of a hemispherical bowl.Example : A marble balanced on top of a hemispherical bowl.Example : A marble placed on horizontal table.

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