Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Potential energy of a system

  1. Sep 21, 2006 #1
    Hi,

    We know that the gravitational potential energy of a mass m over the earth is:

    [tex]-G\frac{mM_E}{r}[/tex]

    But the earth is very heavy, ¿if [tex]m\approx M[/tex] the gravitational potential energy of a system of two particles also is:

    [tex]U(r)=-G\frac{mM}{r}[/tex] ???

    Bye!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2006 #2

    Astronuc

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If m = ME = M, then the potential energy of a binary earth system would be [tex]U(r)=-G\frac{M^2}{r}[/tex].
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook