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Suppose all of the apples have a mass of 0.10 kg. If apple (A) is sitting on the ground, what is its potential energy?

A) 0.10 J
B) 9.8 J
C) 0.0 J
D) 1.0 J

Would it be A?

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or C?

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C is correct.

However, the reference of "potential energy" is not unambiguously defined. In most cases, it is taken as the ground, assuming we cannot go lower. In case we work with mines, or underground water flow, the reference point would be much lower. Given the choice, C would be logical, although anyone could be valid.

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Suppose all of the apples have a mass of 0.10 kg and one of the apples in the bowl (C) is 1.0 meter off the ground. If the apple (C) falls from the table, what is the maximum kinetic energy it can gain?

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