# Gravitational potential energy concept question

• Mdhiggenz
In summary, when a piece of fruit falls straight down, the gravitational force does positive work on it and the gravitational potential energy decreases.
Mdhiggenz

## Homework Statement

A piece of fruit falls straight down. As it falls,

A. the gravitational force does positive work on it and the
gravitational potential energy increases.
B. the gravitational force does positive work on it and the
gravitational potential energy decreases.
C. the gravitational force does negative work on it and the
gravitational potential energy increases.
D. the gravitational force does negative work on it and the
gravitational potential energy decreases.

## The Attempt at a Solution

I want to make sure my reasoning is correct. The answer would be B because when the piece of fruit falls the only force acting upon it is gravity. So relating this to the gravitational potential energy equation Ugrav= Mgy; as the fruit falls its displacement is decreasing due to it getting closer and closer to zero thus making the over all gravitational potential energy decrease.

Thank you

That's right. And the work done by gravitational force is positive, because the fruit is moved in the same direction as the force is pointed to.

## What is gravitational potential energy?

Gravitational potential energy is the energy an object possesses due to its position in a gravitational field. It is the potential for an object to do work as it falls or moves towards a lower position in the field.

## How is gravitational potential energy calculated?

Gravitational potential energy is calculated as mass multiplied by acceleration due to gravity multiplied by height. The formula is: GPE = mgh, where m is the mass of the object, g is the acceleration due to gravity, and h is the height of the object.

## Does gravitational potential energy depend on the mass of the object?

Yes, gravitational potential energy is directly proportional to the mass of the object. This means that the greater the mass of the object, the greater its gravitational potential energy.

## How does gravitational potential energy change with height?

Gravitational potential energy increases as an object is raised to a higher position in a gravitational field. This is because the object has more potential to do work as it falls from a greater height.

## Can gravitational potential energy be converted into other forms of energy?

Yes, gravitational potential energy can be converted into other forms of energy, such as kinetic energy, when an object falls or moves towards a lower position in a gravitational field. This conversion is governed by the law of conservation of energy.

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