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Homework Help: Another universal gravitation question

  1. Oct 23, 2004 #1
    As you get further away from the Earth's surface your gravitational potential energy increases, but when you get closer center of the universe (or something like that) your gravitational potential is decreasing................ ? Meaning when you are the FURTHEST away from the Earth's surface your gravitational potential is zero...

    We were learning about gravitational potential energy and my teacher told us to THINK about that question....

    Well when you're at the center of the universe, there is no gravity? Or you're so far away from everything it can't affect you?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2004 #2
    My mind tells me to choose both, which is why I say those both apply..
    There is no gravity in space, then again you're far away from any gravitational fields to even be affected.
    So yeah. :D
  4. Oct 23, 2004 #3
    I see.... Thank you
  5. Oct 23, 2004 #4


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    At the surface of the earth the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s2.
    This value decreases as you get farther from the surface.

    If you look at the equation [tex]U_g = mgh[/tex] you can see that the higher you go the more your potential energy. However, you also have to take into account that as you go higher, g decreases.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  6. Oct 23, 2004 #5
    I understand that the higher you go the more your gravitational potential but what about once you get into space or....the center of the universe... wouldnt your gravitation potential DECREASE even though you've gone HIGHER?
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