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Unformatted text preview: al energy involves changing the position of the object being acted on by a specific force.
In the case of gravitational potential energy, that force is the gravitation attracting of the Earth. The
further we move the object from the center of the Earth, the greater the gravitational potential energy.
Gravitational potential energy is the potential energy that an object possesses by virtue of its
mass and the gravitational force acting on it. In everyday experience, gravitational potential energy arises
most familiarly when an object is raised in the Earth's gravitational field. The object's increase in
gravitational potential energy is equal to the amount of energy required to raise it, or, equivalently, the
amount of energy that would be released if it were allowed to fall back to its original level. Thus we can
write the gravitational potential energy near Earth’s surface as (2)
where U is the potential energy, m is the mass of the object, g is the magnitude of the gravitational
acceleration, and h is the height of the object.
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