When I created a height vs. kinetic energy graph, a straight line with a negative slope was created. Does this show direct or inverse proportionality?

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If a graph of two variables shows a negative slope, they are inversely proportional to each other. The slope of a graph is the change in the variable that is being plotted on the y-axis to the change in the variable that is being plotted on the x-axis. A negative slope indicates a decrease in one of the variables for an increase in the other.

If you plot the kinetic energy versus the height for an object, and the object is assumed to be a closed system where no energy is allowed to enter or exit the system, it is found that the kinetic energy is inversely proportional to the height. This is due to the fact that as the height increases, the gravitational potential energy increases. To compensate for this, there is a decrease in the kinetic energy. In the opposite case, as height decreases, there is a decrease in the gravitational potential energy and there is a compensating increase in the kinetic energy.

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deepakkumarkaran's profile pic

deepakkumarkaran | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted on

I think in this case you are measuring the K.E. of the body moving in a upward direction. If yes, then obviously in this case K.E. is inversly proportional to the position.

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