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Homework Help: Gravitational potential energy

  1. Nov 8, 2006 #1
    A 5.2 kg particle and a 2.4 kg particle have a gravitational attraction of magnitude 2.3E-12 N.
    Gravitational potential energy is -4.40e-11J and r=19.03m

    If you were to triple the distance between these particles, how much work is done by you on the particles?

    My biggest problem here is that I don't know what equation I should use to find the work done. My book doesn't explain it very well. The first part of the question I figured out fine but this is where I'm stuck. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 8, 2006 #2


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    What is the definition (not the equation) of gravitaional potential energy? Hint: it has something to do with work.
  4. Nov 8, 2006 #3
    The work done on the system is a change in gravitational potential energy.
  5. Nov 8, 2006 #4
    Nevermind, what I just posted is what I needed to know, I figured it out. Thanks for your hint.
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