Gravitational potential energy

What is Gravitational potential energy?

Lifting an object in a gravitational field transfers energy into the objects gravitational energy store. Gravitational potential energy is the energy an object has due to its height above Earth. The equation for gravitational potential energy is GPE = mgh, where m is the mass in kilograms, g is the acceleration due to gravity (9.8 N/m2 on Earth), and h is the height above the ground in meters.

Gravitational potential energy equation

To calculate Gravitational potential energy we use this equation.

$E_p = mgh$

Gravitational potential energy demo

In this tutorial you will learn how to calculate the energy stored in a moving object.

Chilled practice question

A barrel is lifted onto a shelf 3.5 m from the ground. The barrel has a mass of 22 Kg. Calculate the energy in its G.P.E store.

Frozen practice question

A ski lift transfers 11 KJ of energy into a mans G.P.E energy store. The man has a mass of 55 Kg, calculate the height he was elevated.

Science in context

Lifting an object in a gravitational field transfers energy into the objects gravitational energy store.

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