# Gravitational potential with respect to surface of Earth and Moon

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#1
Sketch a graph on the axes below to indicate how the gravitational potential varies with distance along a line outwards from the surface of the Earth to the surface of the Moon.
The answer in the mark scheme says that the gravitational potential should never reach 0.
Surely at some point in between the surface of the Earth and the Moon the gravitational potential should equal 0 because the attraction from each gravitational field is equal, but in opposite directions.
Can someone explain?

Edit: I think it is because it is a scalar value?
Last edited by Ogaar; 1 year ago
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1 year ago
#2
r/gettyimages
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#3
(Original post by Lwajura)
r/gettyimages
Question 1) c)
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1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Ogaar)
The answer in the mark scheme says that the gravitational potential should never reach 0. Surely at some point in between the surface of the Earth and the Moon the gravitational potential should equal 0 because the attraction from each gravitational field is equal, but in opposite directions.

Edit: I think it is because it is a scalar value?
Net g = 0, the null point (net grav force = 0) coincides with graph's maximum, where |net V| is smallest. It's not 0 as net V = sum of potentials due to earth and moon separately; non-zero scalars and -ve by defn.
Last edited by Physics Enemy; 1 year ago
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