chiddler

5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2010
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Medical Student
As some mass approaches a planet, what is the energy transformation that is occuring?

I think it would be gravitational potential energy being converted into kinetic energy.

I'm thinking of the numbers though. U = GMeMo/r. As radius, or the distance to the planet, decreases, the grav. pot. energy is increasing. Then the kinetic energy is increasing. Both are increasing!

So either my understanding is wrong, my math is wrong, or physics is wrong.

I really hope its the last one :p

thanks.
 
Apr 25, 2011
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[crawling out of corner] Gravitational potential energy is at 0 at infinity, and becomes more negative as you approach a mass. More negative = bigger number but decreasing. [/crawling out of corner]
 
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chiddler

5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2010
2,440
4
Status
Medical Student
[crawling out of corner] Gravitational potential energy is at 0 at infinity, and becomes more negative as you approach a mass. More negative = bigger number but decreasing. [/crawling out of corner]
lol

thanks. i forgot the negative sign.