# Calling all physics masters

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Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Hey guys, I was just doing some revision and realised that two of the books I'm using have different definitions for the same things and seem to have muddled up the meanings of the two words in question.

Soooo, I was just wondering, to make it simpler, could someone please explain the difference between 'gravitational potential' and gravitational potential difference'? which one is the energy to move a unit mass?

Thank guys!!
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6 years ago
#2
Gravitational potential, V: This is the work done per unit mass to move a small object from infinity to that point in a gravitational field.
At distance r from the centre of a spherical object of mass M,

Gravitational potential difference: The work done in moving a unit mass from one point to another in a gravitational field is called gravitational potential difference. For example, if work is required to move a mass from point A to point B, there is said to be a gravitational potential difference between A and B, with B being at the higher potential.

The unit for both is .
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Thread starter 6 years ago
#3
(Original post by danthedude)
Gravitational potential, V: This is the work done per unit mass to move a small object from infinity to that point in a gravitational field.
At distance r from the centre of a spherical object of mass M,

Gravitational potential difference: The work done in moving a unit mass from one point to another in a gravitational field is called gravitational potential difference. For example, if work is required to move a mass from point A to point B, there is said to be a gravitational potential difference between A and B, with B being at the higher potential.

The unit for both is .
Thank you soooo much! You have completely cleared it up for me…something my text books have failed to do! Thank you again!
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