Item EG018004: For two books on a table, the book that weighs more has more gravitational potential energy.

A student places two books on a table. One book weighs less than the other book.

Which book has less gravitational potential energy? (Consider the reference point to be the floor.)

  1. The book that weighs less has less gravitational potential energy.
  2. The book that weighs more has less gravitational potential energy.
  3. Both books have the same amount of gravitational potential energy.
  4. Neither book has any gravitational potential energy.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item EG018004
Scale Score for Item Difficulty
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 1564 3269 48%
  6–8 842 1810 47%
  9–12 713 1449 49%
Primary Language

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Disciplinary Core Ideas
PS3.A A system of objects may also contain stored (potential) energy, depending on their relative positions.
The relationship between mass and gravitational potential energy is not addressed in NGSS.