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Potential Energy

Potential energy lets us do work in the present to change things in the future. If energy is currency, then potential energy is money in the bank.

Potential energy due to gravity


A crate of mass \(m=4\text{ kg}\) slides down a frictionless inclined plane of length \(d=8\text{ m}\) that makes a \(30^\circ\) angle with the horizontal. What is the crate's change in gravitational potential energy when it reaches the bottom of the inclined plane?

The gravitational acceleration is \(g=10\text{ m/s}^2.\)

A \(6\text{ kg}\) object is dropped from the edge of a \(150\text{ m}\) high cliff. What is its gravitational potential energy (relative to the ground) after \(3\) seconds?

Ignore any air resistance and assume that gravitational acceleration is \(g=10\text{ m/s}^2.\)

A \(80\text{ kg}\) man stands on the edge of a \(50\)-meter-high cliff. What is his gravitational potential energy relative to the ground?

The gravitational acceleration is \(g=10\text{ m/s}^2.\)

An old English nursery rhyme starts off "Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water". If the hill is 10 m high and Jack weighs 700 N, how much work in Joules did Jack need to do to get to the top of the hill?

An object of mass \(3\text{ kg}\) is dropped from a height of \(102\text{ m}.\) After \(2\) seconds, the object's gravitational potential energy is \(E_1,\) and \(4\) seconds after the drop it is \(E_2.\) Find the value of \(E_1+E_2.\)

The air resistance is negligible and the gravitational acceleration is \(g=10\text{ m/s}^2.\)


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