1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Is there Gravitational Potential Energy on a horizontal surface?

  1. Jul 8, 2012 #1
    Is there Gravitational Potential Energy on a horizontal surface?

    Example from Position 1 - 2
     

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2012 #2

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Since the height doesn't change, there's no change in gravitational PE. (Which is what matters.)
     
  4. Jul 8, 2012 #3
    So GPE=0?

    My understanding is that if there is height, there is GPE.
     
  5. Jul 8, 2012 #4

    Doc Al

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Depending on the reference point you choose, which is arbitrary, there may be non-zero GPE. But what really matters physically is the change in GPE, which in this case is zero. ΔGPE = 0.
     
  6. Jul 8, 2012 #5

    CWatters

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If there is gravitational PE at point one (due to it's height above a reference that is not shown on the drawing), and point two is the same height above that reference, then the gravitational PE is the same at both points.
     
  7. Jul 8, 2012 #6
    Thanks for the explanation.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Is there Gravitational Potential Energy on a horizontal surface?
Loading...