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A body is moved from the surface of the Earth to a height ‘h’ above the surface of the Earth. Prove that the change in its gravitational potential energy = mgh.

A body is moved from the surface of the Earth to a height ‘h’ above the surface of the Earth. Prove that the change in its gravitational potential energy = mgh.

Grade:11

1 Answers

Saurabh Kumar
askIITians Faculty 2411 Points
5 years ago

Gravitational Potential Energy is the energy of 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/s2. Since the zero of gravitational potential energy can be chosen at any point (like the choice of the zero of a coordinate system), the potential energy at a height h above that point is equal to the work which would be required to lift the object to that height with no net change in kinetic energy. Since the force required to lift it is equal to its weight, it follows that the gravitational potential energy is equal to its weight times the height to which it is lifted.
PE = mgh

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