A block of mass m slides down an inclined plane. How will its potential energy change if it descends to the height h.

1) First, let the bar be at the height h0. Then its initial potential energy E0 was: E0 = mgh0.
2) When the bar has dropped to a height h, the height at which it is located becomes equal to h0 – h. Its new potential energy E became equal to: E = mg (h0 – h).
3) Let’s find the change in potential energy: ΔE = E – E0 = mg (h0 – h) – mgh0 = -mgh <0. That is, we get that the potential energy of the bar has decreased by mgh.
ANSWER: decreased by mgh.

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