Water falls from the top of a hill to the ground. Why?

Water falls from the top of a hill to the ground. Why?

This is because the top of the hill is a point of higher gravitational potential than the surface of the Earth i.e.*Vhill* > *Vground*

The motion of particles can be analyzed more easily using scalars like *U ( r )or V(r) *than vector quantities like * or *. In modern theories of physics, the concept of potential plays a vital role.

Consider four masses m1, m2, m3, and m4 arranged on the circumference of a circle as shown in figure below

Calculate

a) The gravitational potential energy of the system of 4 masses shown in figure.

b) The gravitational potential at the point O due to all the 4 masses.

*Solution*

The gravitational potential energy *U( r )* can be calculated by finding the sum of gravitational potential energy of each pair of particles.

If all the masses are equal, then m1 = m2 = m3 = m4 = M

The gravitational potential V(r) at a point O is equal to the sum of the gravitational potentials due to individual mass. Since potential is a scalar, the net potential at point O is the algebraic sum of potentials due to each mass.

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11th Physics : UNIT 6 : Gravitation : Solved Example Problems for Gravitational potential V(r) |

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