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    Re: Navigating Around Hills and Dips in the Ocean
    From: Bill Noyce
    Date: 2003 Aug 19, 15:18 -0400

    Here's another analogy about the equipotential/g situation
    that might help intuition.  Imagine you're walking across
    a landscape of rolling hills, always keeping the same
    altitude above sea level.  In this case you're walking
    along a line of equal gravitational potential -- these are
    called contour lines on a topographical map.  As you're
    walking, or perhaps pushing a soccer ball, you will notice
    a force to the side that depends on the steepness of the
    hill where you happen to be.  This is the 2-dimensional
    analog to the strength of gravity, and is represented on the
    topo map by how close together the contour lines are.
    You can certainly walk from a place where this force is
    very weak (the hill is very shallow) to a place where it
    is strong (the hill is steep) without gaining or losing
    altitude, and therefore without gaining or losing any
    potential energy.
            -- Bill

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