Examples of Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE)

In another article, I’ve discussed the Potential energy of an object. It’s the ability to do work due to its position at a height above the ground. In this article, I’m going to explain what is gravitational potential energy and what are some examples of it.

Water falls from a waterfall with some gravitational potential energy
Water falls from a waterfall with some gravitational potential energy

What is Gravitational Potential Energy?

The work done in moving an object against the gravitational attraction force is stored as the potential energy in the object. Such potential energy is called Gravitational Potential Energy or GPE.

If an object of mass M is placed at a height of h above the ground where the acceleration due to gravitation is g, then the gravitational energy, GPE = Mgh.

What are examples of Gravitational Potential Energy?

Skydivers fall with some gravitational potential energy
Skydivers fall with some gravitational potential energy

Here are the examples of 10 systems having Gravitational potential energy

  • Any object which is at some height above the ground.
  • Water falling from a dam.
  • The water of a waterfall.
  • Skydiver falling from a height.
  • A ball just before releasing it from the roof.
  • An object on the inclined plane.
  • People sitting at the top of verticle merry-go-round.
  • Bob of a Pendulum when it is at one of the ends.
  • A ripe fruit which is about to fall from the tree.
  • A monkey sitting on the tree.

Is there any other type of potential energy?

Elastic potential energy arises if a Spring is stretched or compressed
Elastic potential energy arises in the Spring

Yes, there are 4 types of potential energies including gravitational energy. The other three are –

  1. Chemical Potential energy: The energy stored in a battery or cell is chemical potential energy.
  2. Elastic potential energy: The energy of a stretched or compressed spring and a vibrating string is elastic potential energy.
  3. Nuclear Potential energy: Electrons revolving around a nucleus have nuclear potential energy.

This is all from this article on Gravitational Potential energy and its examples. Hope you get your answer.

Thank you!

Related posts:

  1. How to calculate Gravitational force between two objects?