I discuss why the buoyant force as given by Archimedes’ principle is a conservative force with an associated potential energy. I then provide several arguments why a rising helium balloon loses potential energy.

This content is only available via PDF.
AAPT members receive access to The Physics Teacher and the American Journal of Physics as a member benefit. To learn more about this member benefit and becoming an AAPT member, visit the Joining AAPT page.