Gravitational Potential

  • Thread starter Harmony
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  • #1
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Question:
Calculate the gain of gravitational potential energy of a satelite of mass 200kg between launching and when it is in orbit at a height of 1.2 * 10^6m
above the earth's surface. (R=6.4*10^6)

I approach this question using the equation V=-GM/r . Since the mass of Earth is not given here, I assume it is 6*10^24.

So, I calculate the gravitational potential at the Earth's surface and at 1.2*10^6 m and find the difference. I get the answer of 1.9*10^9.

But the actual answer is 1.7*10^6.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
finchie_88
The gravitational potential is defined as [tex] V = \frac{GM}{r} [/tex], while the gravitational potential energy is defined as [tex] E = \frac{GMm}{r} [/tex]. Although, you must have made a mistake in putting the numbers in aswell.
 
  • #3
andrevdh
Homework Helper
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I get the same answer as you with the formula
[tex]V=-\frac{GMm}{r}[/tex]
maybe the given answer is incorrect.
 

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