Explore BrainMass

Gravitational Potential Energy: Changing Kinetic Energy

A projectile is given a vertical upward velocity Vo = 10000 m/sec at Earth's surface. Neglect air friction. Find the maximum distance it will achieve above the surface of Earth. Do not consider g to be constant.

Solution Preview

Physics notes:
Note: The starting point for this problem could be either of two choices.

Note 1.
Start with the expression giving the gravitational PE of two bodies of mass M and m, separated by center to center distance r, which is expressed by:
(1) P.E. = - G M m/r
Note that this quantity is negative because the P.E. is defined to be zero when the separation r is infinite. Therefore if r increases from some initial value, then for the P.E. to approach zero, it has to initially be a negative value.
Note 2.
By conservation of energy, as the projectile ...