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`Delta PEgrav = −F*y `

Enter a value for all fields

The **Gravitational Potential Energy ** calculator computes the potential energy (**PE**) of a body with a certain mass (**m**) at rest at a certain height (**y**).

**INSTRUCTIONS:** Choose the preferred units and enter the following:

- (
**F**) This is the force acting on the object. - (
**y**) This is the elevation or height of the object.

**Potential Energy (PE _{grav}):** The calculator returns the potential energy in Joules (J). However this can be automatically converted to other energy units via the pull-down menu.

The formula for Potential Energy is:

If we use F = m•a where **a** is the acceleration due to gravity (**g**)

Therefore we get this formula:

- PE = - F * y

Where the inputs are acceleration due to gravity (g), mass (m) and vertical displacement (y). The default units for Potential Energy are Joules (J) for potential energy, meters per second (m/s²) for acceleration due to gravity, and meters (m) for vertical displacement.

The default **acceleration due to gravity (g) **is that of surface of the Earth at Sea Level (**9.80665 m/s² **) . The user can override the default with other values.

**Education Resources:**

- More information is available regarding Potential Energy in Light and Matter chapter 12.2 Potential energy: energy of distance or closeness
- YouTube video on Potential Energy