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B A Question about Energy conversion...

  1. Jan 3, 2018 #1
    Okay...Suppose we we lift up something from the ground upto a certain height. By doing so, we have imparted it some potential energy. If we now let go, it will start converting its potential energy to kinetic energy.Now, suppose we apply this analogy to the case of a positive charge place nearer a positive plate and further from a negative plate. The charge is said to be at higher electric potential( has higher potential energy) and will move to lower electric potential, which we call the negative plate. There is an obvious change in potential energy of the charge.My question is that into what is this potential energy converted(there are absolutely no "resistances" in the scenario...Any help is appreciated
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2018 #2


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    Well, the charge is being accelerated towards the negative plate. If you don't hold it back it will acquire as much kinetic energy as it loses in potential energy.
  4. Jan 3, 2018 #3


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    Why do you think it would be something else than with gravity?
  5. Jan 3, 2018 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    @BvU gave you the answer for charges drifting in a vacuum.

    Do not try to apply that to charges in a wire as part of a closed circuit. In a circuit, the drift velocities of electrons in the wires are very slow, so kinetic energy plays almost zero role.
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