College Physics : Gravitational Potential Energy

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for College Physics

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Gravitational Potential Energy

bouncy ball is dropped from . When it bounces back up is reaches a height of . How much energy was loss?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The formula for gravitational potential energy is:

To find the potential energy lost, we need to find the potential energy of the ball at two heights, then find the difference. 

Note that the energy was not actually lost; rather, it was converted to kinetic energy. 

Example Question #2 : Gravitational Potential Energy

A baseball weighing  is dropped from a second story window which is  high. What is the gravitational potential energy?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Gravitational potential energy is given by the equation:

We are given all the information needed to solve for the potential energy.

Plug in known values and solve.

Recall that the units for energy are Joules. Newtons is the unit for force.

Example Question #3 : Gravitational Potential Energy

bowling ball is released from  in the air. What is it's gravitation potential energy upon release?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The equation for gravitational potential energy is:

We are given all the information needed to answer the question.

Plug in known values and solve.

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