Gravitational Potential Energy (Multiple Choice Question)

  • Thread starter McAfee
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Homework Statement



V63T8.jpg


Question:
Rank the paths according to the corresponding change in the gravitational potential energy of the rocket–moon system, greatest first.

A. 1 > 3 > 5 > 2 = 4 = 6
B. 2 = 4 = 6 > 5 > 3 > 1
C. 1 = 2 = 3 = 4 = 5 = 6
D. 1 > 2 = 4 = 6 > 3 > 5

The Attempt at a Solution



I'm not understanding the question. I guess it would be A, but I'm not sure why.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Delphi51
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Probably "1>3" means orbit 1's energy is greater than orbit 3's energy.
 
  • #3
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Probably "1>3" means orbit 1's energy is greater than orbit 3's energy.
Sorry I forgot to include the question.
 
  • #4
Delphi51
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That "changes" things! It must mean the change going from a to b. Potential energy only. Much easier. You will want to have your formula for grav potential energy handy.
 
  • #5
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That "changes" things! It must mean the change going from a to b. Potential energy only. Much easier. You will want to have your formula for grav potential energy handy.
The formula is Grav potential energy= -GMm / r

I think the answer would be either A or B.
 
  • #6
Delphi51
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It seems clear to me you are misunderstanding something, but I'm not supposed to just tell you the answer. Can you explain your reasoning leading to A or B? They are rather different! A says path 1 has the highest change in PE while B says path 1 has the lowest change in PE. Both say 2, 4 and 6 have the same energy - why do you think that is true?
 

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