## Gravitational Potential Energy Gravitational potential energy is energy an object possesses because of its position in a gravitational field. The most common use of gravitational potential energy is for an object near the surface of the Earth where the gravitational acceleration can be assumed to be constant at about 9.8 m/s | Index Energy concepts | ||

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## Gravitational Potential EnergyThe general expression for gravitational potential energy arises from the law of gravity and is equal to the work done against gravity to bring a mass to a given point in space. Because of the inverse square nature of the gravity force, the force approaches zero for large distances, and it makes sense to choose the zero of gravitational potential energy at an infinite distance away. The gravitational potential energy near a planet is then negative, since gravity does positive work as the mass approaches. This negative potential is indicative of a "bound state"; once a mass is near a large body, it is trapped until something can provide enough energy to allow it to escape. The general form of the gravitational potential energy of mass m is: where G is the gravitation constant, M is the mass of the attracting body, and r is the distance between their centers. | Index Energy concepts | ||

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## Gravitational Potential EnergyFrom the work done against the gravity force in bringing a mass in from infinity where the potential energy is assigned the value zero, the expression for gravitational potential energy is This expression is useful for the calculation of escape velocity, energy to remove from orbit, etc. However, for objects near the earth the acceleration of gravity g can be considered to be approximately constant and the expression for potential energy relative to the Earth's surface becomes where h is the height above the surface and g is the surface value of the acceleration of gravity. | Index Energy concepts Gravity concepts | ||

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## Gravitational Potential | Index Energy concepts | ||

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## Gravitational Potential Integral | Index Energy concepts | ||

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