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Gravitational Potential Energy of a particle

  1. Jan 5, 2010 #1
    Hi there,

    As we know gravitational potential energy is U = -GMm/R right? Here is what i obsessed, in case for the each particle can we say half of this energy belongs to one particle? I hope my question is clear enough:)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2010 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Um... well, I guess you could say that if you wanted to, but generally there isn't any reason to do so, and it could even be misleading. The gravitational potential energy is an interaction energy, so it really belongs to the pair, not to the particles individually. The old adage about the whole being more than the sum of its parts really applies here.
  4. Jan 5, 2010 #3
    As for electric energy, similar inverse r case, we can identify where and how much there are. But general relativity theory says it is not so for gravitational energy.
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