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Item EG015003: The mass of a rock will affect the gravitational potential energy of a rock on top of a cliff.

A rock is resting on a flat surface at the top of a cliff. Which of the following always affects the amount of gravitational potential energy a rock has?

  1. Its mass
  2. Its shape
  3. How close it is to the edge of the cliff
  4. A rock cannot have any gravitational potential energy unless it is falling.
Distribution of Responses
Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item EG015003
Scale Score for Item Difficulty
Students Responding Correctly
Group Correct Total Percent
Overall 1648 3252 51%
  6–8 841 1793 47%
  9–12 803 1449 55%
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.