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What is gravitational potential energy? 
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#1
Aug2614, 07:55 AM

P: 76

is GPE at a point the work we must do against the gravitational force to bring an object from infinity to the point? Or is it the work done by the gravitational force?



#2
Aug2614, 07:58 AM

P: 1

It is the work done by the gravity.



#4
Aug2614, 08:18 AM

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PF Gold
P: 12,269

What is gravitational potential energy?
It has to be the work done ON. The Force could be due to many causes  a spring and gravity, for instance. How would you apportion the work done BY between the two, if it worked your alternative way? If you read the definition anywhere, it is quite consistent. 


#5
Aug2614, 08:52 AM

P: 999

We adopt the sign convention that we do so that "Kinetic Energy" plus "Gravitational Potential Energy" is conserved. One could equally well adopt the opposite sign convention so that "Kinetic Energy" minus "Gravitational Energy Deficit" is conserved. 


#6
Aug2614, 10:27 AM

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#7
Aug2614, 11:02 AM

P: 999




#8
Aug2614, 01:17 PM

P: 444




#9
Aug2614, 03:59 PM

Sci Advisor
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PF Gold
P: 12,269

The question was about Gravitational Potential. I thought that was defined in terms of Work done ON a unit Mass to bring it from infinity. Isn't that the fact of the matter? I can't see a need to consider who does the work so why is there a need to worry further? 


#10
Aug2614, 04:56 PM

P: 999

But apparently I have misunderstood your point. It had seemed that you were claiming that gravity does not do work. Upon rereading I see that you had not actually made such a claim. 


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