# gravitational potential

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Related to gravitational potential: gravitational potential energy

## gravitational potential

See gravitation.## Gravitational Potential

a potential of force of gravitational attraction. The partial derivatives of gravitational potential with respect to given directions are equal to the components of force of attraction in those directions. The use of gravitational potential at times simplifies the study of force-field properties. This use is based on the fact that gravitational potential, being a scalar quantity, requires for its definition only the magnitudes, whereas the establishment of a force requires also the knowledge of its direction.

## gravitational potential

[‚grav·ə′tā·shən·əl pə′ten·chəl] (mechanics)

The amount of work which must be done against gravitational forces to move a particle of unit mass to a specified position from a reference position, usually a point at infinity.