Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
Log In Start studying!
Answers without the blur. Sign up and see all textbooks for free! Illustration

Q. 7

Expert-verified
Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics
Found in: Page 353

Answers without the blur.

Just sign up for free and you're in.

Illustration

Short Answer

Why is the gravitational potential energy of two masses negative? Note that saying “because that’s what the equation gives” is not an explanation.

If two masses are placed at infinite distance their Gravitational potential energy is Zero.

This means the negative potential energy has less potential energy than their potential energy at infinite separation.

See the step by step solution

Step by Step Solution

Step1: Given Information

Potential energy of two masses negative

Step2 Explanation

If two masses are placed at infinite distance their Gravitational potential energy is Zero.

This means the negative potential energy has less potential energy than their potential energy at infinite separation.

The gravitational potential energy is given by

When r approaches to infinity the value of potential energy approach to 0.

This means two masses infinitely far apart will have no tendency, or potential to move together.

Recommended explanations on Physics Textbooks

94% of StudySmarter users get better grades.

Sign up for free
94% of StudySmarter users get better grades.