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Homework Help: Potential energy of a system

  1. Sep 21, 2006 #1

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


    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] ???

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 21, 2006 #2


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    Staff Emeritus
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    If m = ME = M, then the potential energy of a binary earth system would be [tex]U(r)=-G\frac{M^2}{r}[/tex].
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