Energy > Energy and forces > Gravitational Energy
Gravitational energy is the energy stored in a system of bodies with masses due to their gravitational interaction.
Connection to Big Idea about forces: The gravitational interaction is responsible for potential energy stored in systems of objects with mass.
Connection to Big Idea about the universe: Gravitational energy is exerted by all objects throughout the Universe. It is what keeps the Earth and planets in orbit around the Sun and our Solar System in orbit around the centre of the Milky Way. The evolution of the Universe itself is determined by the overall gravitational force of its included objects.
Connection to Big Idea about quantum: One of the most important unanswered question of physics is how gravity, as described by the theory of General Relativity, can be reconciled with the laws of quantum physics to produce a complete and self-consistent theory of quantum gravity. The main question is whether gravitational energy comes in quantum as it happens with the rest of the three fundamental forces.
Connection to Big Idea about Earth: The gravitational energy between Earth and the objects that it hosts is the reason why we are bounded to our planet. Rockets, in order to be launched out of Earth, should gain kinetic energy higher than the gravitational energy of Earth.
Subjects related: Physics
Age ranges: 7-8,12-13,13-14,14-15,15-16,16-17,17-18