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    Potential Energy and Gravitational Pull

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    Consider a 5-kg object interacting gravitationally with the earth. Imagine that we set up a standard reference frame with the z axis pointing vertically upward. If the interaction's potential energy when the object is at z = 5 m is -50 J, what is the approximate z-position of the object when it is at its reference separation from the earth?

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    Solution Preview

    What they mean by "reference separation" is that point where the potential energy is zero. The potential energy is of the form:

    V(z) = mg z + c

    where c is some constant which ...

    Solution Summary

    A detailed solution is given. Potential energy and gravitational pull is examined. The z-position approximation for the separation from the earth is determined.