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In the previous sections, we have learnt the basics of potential energy and the formula to calculate them. Here, we are going to see how height plays an important role in potential energy
Gravitational Potential energy:
Gravitational potential energy is energy in an object that is held in a vertical position.
The amount of gravitational potential energy of an object mainly depends on its height and mass. The larger the object and the higher it is above the ground, the more gravitational potential energy it contains. Gravitational potential energy increases as the weight of the object and height increase.
The potential energy of an object at a particular height depends on the ground level or the zero level you select. An object in a given position can have specific potential energy corresponding to one level and a different value of potential energy with respect to another level.
It is beneficial to note that the work done by gravity depends on the difference in vertical heights of the initial (Ground level) and final positions of the object and not on the path along which the object is moved.
The above figure shows a case where an object is raised from its initial position \(A\) to \(B\) by taking two different paths.
Let the height \(AB\) \(=\) \(h\).
In both situations, the work done on the object is,