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Relationships between potential energy and distance

  1. Feb 19, 2015 #1
    Why is gravitational potential energy directly related to the distance of between two objects (mgh, so as distance increases, potential energy increases) while electric potential energy is inversely related (kq1q2/r,distance increases, electric potential energy decreases)?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2015 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Well, it isn't. If you look at it macroscopically, the gravity attraction is [itex] \frac{Gm_{1}m_{2}}{d^{2}}[/itex]. See the similarity?
    Locally, when a change in distance is small compared to the basic distance, the gravity attraction is almost constant and you can do the mgh thing.
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