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Electric Potential

PostPosted: March 16th, 2012, 3:48 pm
by Jessica
Objects naturally move from high potential energy to low potential energy.
Work is required to move an object from low to high potential energy.

Gravitational Potential Energy: the work required to move a mass against a gravitational field
Electric Potential Energy: the work required to move a charge against an electric field


For parallel plates:
The electric field between two parallel plates is uniform, so the force to move a charge within that field will be constant.

W = EqΔx


For point charges:
The closer to the point charge, the stronger the electric field. Thus, the force to move a charge within the e-field is NOT constant.

W12 = ΔPE12 =
∞ is our reference point

W = PE = =



Electric Potential (V):
The work per unit charge required to bring a charge from a very large distance (reference point = ∞) to a particular point in an electric field



units: J/C = Volt