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## Main Question or Discussion Point

Total energy is [itex]\frac{1}{2}mv^{2}-mgh=C[/itex] for a classical non-rotating object right? C can be determined based on an arbitrary initial condition that suits the problem, right? How come it's not [itex]\frac{1}{2}mv^{2}+mgh=C[/itex]? This seems like a more suitable definition of "total" energy. I'm sure there's a reason it's minus and not plus, but what is the reason?

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Does it have something to do with the direction of the conservative force field that the object is in?

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Does it have something to do with the direction of the conservative force field that the object is in?