Electric Potential And Potential Difference Pdf

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Voltage , electric potential difference , electromotive force emf, electric pressure or electric tension is the difference in electric potential between two points, which in a static electric field is defined as the work needed per unit of charge to move a test charge between the two points. In the International System of Units , the derived unit for voltage potential difference is named volt.

Electric Potential: The amount of electric potential energy at a point is called electric potential. Electric potential difference is known as voltage, which is equal to the work done per unit charge to move the charge between two points against static electric field. This is named in honour of Italian Physicist Alessandro Volta. Since joule is the unit of work and coulomb is the unit of charge; 1 volt of electric potential difference is equal to the 1 joule of work to be done to move a charge of 1 coulomb from one point to another in an electric circuit.

19.1: Electric Potential Energy- Potential Difference

Recall that earlier we defined electric field to be a quantity independent of the test charge in a given system, which would nonetheless allow us to calculate the force that would result on an arbitrary test charge. The default assumption in the absence of other information is that the test charge is positive. We briefly defined a field for gravity, but gravity is always attractive, whereas the electric force can be either attractive or repulsive. Therefore, although potential energy is perfectly adequate in a gravitational system, it is convenient to define a quantity that allows us to calculate the work on a charge independent of the magnitude of the charge. Keep in mind that whenever a voltage is quoted, it is understood to be the potential difference between two points.

3.2 Electric Potential and Potential Difference

The electric potential tells you how much potential energy a single point charge at a given location will have. The electric potential at a point is equal to the electric potential energy measured in joules of any charged particle at that location divided by the charge measured in coulombs of the particle. Another way of saying this is that because PE is dependent on q, the q in the above equation will cancel out, so V is not dependent on q. Point charges, such as electrons, are among the fundamental building blocks of matter. Furthermore, spherical charge distributions like on a metal sphere, see figure below create external electric fields exactly like a point charge.

Definition : The electrical potential is defined as the capability of the charged body to do work. When the body is charged, either electric electrons are supplied to it, or they are removed from it. In both the cases, the work is done. This work is stored in the body in the form of electric potential. Thus, the body can do the work by exerting a force of attraction or repulsion on the other charged particles. The capacity of the charged body to do work determines the electrical potential on it.

Electric Potential

Recall that earlier we defined electric field to be a quantity independent of the test charge in a given system, which would nonetheless allow us to calculate the force that would result on an arbitrary test charge. The default assumption in the absence of other information is that the test charge is positive. We briefly defined a field for gravity, but gravity is always attractive, whereas the electric force can be either attractive or repulsive. Therefore, although potential energy is perfectly adequate in a gravitational system, it is convenient to define a quantity that allows us to calculate the work on a charge independent of the magnitude of the charge.

Electric potential , the amount of work needed to move a unit charge from a reference point to a specific point against an electric field. Typically, the reference point is Earth , although any point beyond the influence of the electric field charge can be used. The diagram shows the forces acting on a positive charge q located between two plates, A and B, of an electric field E.

Electric potential

The relationship between electric potential and field is similar to that between gravitational potential and field in that the potential is a property of the field describing the action of the field upon an object see. Electric field and potential in one dimension : The presence of an electric field around the static point charge large red dot creates a potential difference, causing the test charge small red dot to experience a force and move. The electric field is like any other vector field—it exerts a force based on a stimulus, and has units of force times inverse stimulus. In the case of an electric field the stimulus is charge, and thus the units are NC In other words, the electric field is a measure of force per unit charge. The electric potential at a point is the quotient of the potential energy of any charged particle at that location divided by the charge of that particle.

In the previous section of Lesson 1 , it was reasoned that the movement of a positive test charge within an electric field is accompanied by changes in potential energy. A gravitational analogy was relied upon to explain the reasoning behind the relationship between location and potential energy. Moving a positive test charge against the direction of an electric field is like moving a mass upward within Earth's gravitational field.


Positive charges will accelerate towards regions of low potential. POTENTIAL ENERGY: due to the interaction between the charge and the electric field. + +.


3.2 Electric Potential and Potential Difference

Point Charge

The process is analogous to an object being accelerated by a gravitational field. It is as if the charge is going down an electrical hill where its electric potential energy is converted to kinetic energy. This is exactly analogous to the gravitational force in the absence of dissipative forces such as friction. When a force is conservative, it is possible to define a potential energy associated with the force, and it is usually easier to deal with the potential energy because it depends only on position than to calculate the work directly. We use the letters PE to denote electric potential energy, which has units of joules J. PE can be found at any point by taking one point as a reference and calculating the work needed to move a charge to the other point. Gravitational potential energy and electric potential energy are quite analogous.

The electric potential also called the electric field potential , potential drop, the electrostatic potential is the amount of work energy needed to move a unit of electric charge a Coulomb from a reference point to the specific point in an electric field with negligible acceleration of the test charge to avoid producing kinetic energy or radiation by test charge. More precisely it is the energy per unit charge for a small test charge that does not disturb significantly the field and the charge distribution producing the field under consideration. By dividing out the charge on the particle a quotient is obtained that is a property of the electric field itself. In short, electric potential is the electric potential energy per unit charge. The electric potential at infinity is assumed to be zero.

The electric potential also called the electric field potential , potential drop, the electrostatic potential is the amount of work energy needed to move a unit of electric charge a Coulomb from a reference point to the specific point in an electric field with negligible acceleration of the test charge to avoid producing kinetic energy or radiation by test charge. Typically, the reference point is the Earth or a point at infinity , although any point can be used. More precisely it is the energy per unit charge for a small test charge that does not disturb significantly the field and the charge distribution producing the field under consideration. By dividing out the charge on the particle a quotient is obtained that is a property of the electric field itself. In short, electric potential is the electric potential energy per unit charge.

Physics for Computer Science Students pp Cite as. We have seen in the preceding chapter how the presence of an electric charge has an effect on another electric charge. This raises the question: What if there is only one electric charge present? The idea of an electric field is introduced to describe the effect in all space around a charge so that if another charge is present we can predict the effect on it. If we have multiple charges, such as in Example 13—2, we see that the force of each on a third charge is a vector, and the net effect on the third charge is the resultant of the forces.

Electric Potential & Potential Difference
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