Question
Thu March 07, 2013

# where is the graviitational potential energy maximum?

Given that there is no reasonable criterion for preferring one particular finite r over another, there seem to be only two reasonable choices for the distance at which U becomes zero:  and . The choice of  at infinity may seem peculiar, and the consequence that gravitational energy is always negative may seem counterintuitive, but this choice allows gravitational potential energy values to be finite, albeit negative.