Gravitational potential

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Gravitational potential

Post by msistarted on Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:56 am

In classical mechanics, the gravitational potential at a location represents the work (energy) per unit mass as an object moves to that location from a reference location. It is analogous to the electric potential with mass playing the role of charge. By convention, the gravitational potential is defined as zero infinitely far away from any mass. As a result it is negative elsewhere.

In mathematics the gravitational potential is also known as the Newtonian potential and is fundamental in the study of potential theory.

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