Item EG022003: A person will have the same amount of gravitational potential energy at the top of a mountain regardless of the path the person takes to get there.

Three hikers take three different paths to the top of a mountain, Paths 1, 2, and 3. The hikers are all the same height and weight.

When all of the hikers are at the finish point at the top of the mountain, which hiker will have the greatest amount of gravitational potential energy?

  1. The hiker who took Path 1
  2. The hiker who took Path 2
  3. The hiker who took Path 3
  4. The gravitational potential energy is the same for all of the hikers.
(Modified from New Hampshire EIAP, 1998)