Is Gravity a Conservative Force

The quantity derived from gravity, the force of gravity is conservative in nature. Let us take a brief look at how gravity is a conservative force.

Gravity is also a conservative force, meaning that the total amount of work required to displace an object from one place to another is independent of the path taken.

Is Gravity a Conservative Force

How is gravity a conservative force?

To understand the answer to this question, first we need to know what is meant by conservative force.

Force is said to be conservative when the total work required to move an object from one place to another does not depend on the path. Now gravity is called a conservative force because it satisfies the above principle of a conservative force in the same way as the electric force satisfies the principle. Let us look at an example to understand the question that gravity is a conservative force.

protection of gravity

To understand that gravity is a conservation force, let us look at two cases as follows:

  • Case I:   Let us consider a block of mass m kept at ground position A as shown in the figure below. Work is done to move this block from ground position A to a position B at a height h as shown in figure. So here the total work done by gravity can be given as

W = FH

W = mg ………. (1)

Is Gravity a Conservative Force

Case II: Now let us consider a block of mass m on the ground, A is now moving to position B at the same height h but with a different path from AC to CD from DE to EB, as shown in figure has gone.

The work done by gravity to move this block along the path AC+CD+DE+EB can be given as

W = W AC + W CD + W DE + W EB ………. (2)

Since, W CD   = F. S = Fs cos𝛉

Since the force is acting vertically downward, = 90° 

So W CD = Fs cos (90°) = 0 ………. (3)


EB = 0 ………. (4)

From equations (3) and (4), equation (2) becomes,

W = W AC + W CD + W DE + W EB

W = W AC + 0 + W DE + 0

W = W AC + Wu DE

W = F. Displacement along AC + F Displacement along DE

W = F. (AC+DE)

W = mg (H)

W = mg ………. (5)

From equations (1) and (5), we can say that the total work required to move a block of mass m does not depend on the path taken and is equal to mgh in both the cases. Therefore, gravity is a conservative force.

Let us look at another example to know how gravity is a conservative force.

The following figure shows that the ball is thrown high in the sky. As it moves up, the gravitational force does negative work and lowers the potential energy. After reaching a certain height, the ball begins to move downwards where the force of gravity does positive work and increases the potential energy. Hence the total effort exerted on the ball is zero regardless of the path and hence gravity is said to be a conservative force. 

Since the overall work done does not depend on the path, gravity is the conservative force.

Frequently Asked Question

Q. What is meant by force of gravity?

A natural phenomenon that occurs between two things that are separated by a great distance and which causes them to move.


where F = gravitational force

m1 and m2 = mass of objects

r = distance between objects

Q. What does gravity mean?

Attraction between Earth and other objects.

Gravity is a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs between the surface of the Earth and an object located somewhere in the sky.

As we all know, the mass of the Earth is huge, and it is important to remember that an object with more mass attracts an object with less mass. Consequently, it is claimed that the force of gravity is attractive in nature as the Earth pulls any body that is close to the ground. is given as,

F = mg,

where F = gravitational force,

m = mass of an object,

g = acceleration due to gravity = 9.8 m/s²

Q. How to differentiate between gravity and force of gravity?

Gravity is a part of gravity.

Gravity is defined as the force acting between two bodies. Whereas gravity is nothing but a force that acts solely between the surface of the earth and the body around it.

Gravitational force is what holds the Earth, Sun and atmosphere together. This is due to the fact that the gravitational force of our planet remains. Not only this, it also helps us to maintain a safe distance between the star and the Sun.

Q. What are different examples of the effect of gravity?

There are many examples of gravitational effects in our environment.

  • The gases in the Sun stay together because of the force of gravity.
  • Water sitting at the base of a glass and water floating at the top of the glass is due to gravity.
  • The ocean tides are caused by the force of attraction between the surface of the Earth and the Moon. Gravity also plays a role in this.
  • The rotation of the Moon around the Earth is the result of the force of gravity.
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