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Gravitational Potential Energy (Multiple Choice Question)

  1. 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    [​IMG]

    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

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I'm not understanding the question. I guess it would be A, but I'm not sure why.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Delphi51

    Delphi51 3,410
    Homework Helper

    Probably "1>3" means orbit 1's energy is greater than orbit 3's energy.
     
  4. Sorry I forgot to include the question.
     
  5. Delphi51

    Delphi51 3,410
    Homework Helper

    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.
     
  6. The formula is Grav potential energy= -GMm / r

    I think the answer would be either A or B.
     
  7. Delphi51

    Delphi51 3,410
    Homework Helper

    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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