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Gravitational Potential Energy Definition
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Mar17-09, 08:29 AM
I have a technical question regarding the definition of gravitational potential energy: How correct is it to discuss/define the gravitational potential energy of object A without regard for the other bodies that are exerting a gravitational force on object A?
I find this kind of thing in science books all the time: "The gravitational potential energy of the vase is 20 J..."
How well does this compare with: "The gravitational potential energy of the vase-Earth system is 20 J..."?
I personally think the second version is better, but I have enough doubts and interest to ask.
Ultimately, how should gravitational potential energy be defined?
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