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## Gravitational potential energy

As we saw above, the work done to go from one point to another in a constant gravitational field is independent of path, and in fact it only depends on the difference in vertical height. So to go between two points and we can choose a straight line path. The work is just , but . But , the difference in the vertical coordinates. So we have the work is just . We can define the potential energy uniquely by saying we want at . So from the definition of potential energy, eq. 1.16 we have have

 (1.17)

Josh Deutsch 2003-02-02