Electric Potential and Electric Potential Energy

In summary, the speaker is currently reading Fundamentals of Physics and finding certain topics, such as electric charge, electric fields, and Gauss' Law, difficult to understand due to a lack of physical descriptions. They are seeking recommendations for other resources, such as websites or videos, to supplement their learning. The speaker mentions that MIT has a good series of videos on electricity and magnetism that they found helpful.
  • #1
I'm currently reading on my own on these topics for the first time in Fundamentals of Physics by HRW. Electric charge, electric fields, and Gauss' Law were 3 hard chapters, but manageable. In this chapter certain aspects aren't really clear to me at all, and there is more math than physical description (math isn't a problem, but there isn't enough of the latter to clarify the former), which is leaving me scratching my head and frustrated. Anyone know if these subjects are more fully fleshed out physically in another work or on a good website or video? I'm starting to see what others have said about Fundamentals cutting corners at times. Thanks.
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  • #2
I know MIT has videos for physics at the undergraduate level that are really good. In particular, they have an entire class up about electricity and magnetism. The videos were a good supplement for me, to go with my class.


1. What is electric potential?

Electric potential is the amount of work needed to move a unit of positive charge from one point to another in an electric field. It is measured in volts (V) and can be thought of as the electrical potential energy per unit charge.

2. What is electric potential energy?

Electric potential energy is the energy that a charged particle possesses due to its position in an electric field. It is measured in joules (J) and is directly proportional to the charge of the particle and the electric potential at its position.

3. How is electric potential different from electric potential energy?

Electric potential is a property of the electric field and is measured in volts, while electric potential energy is a property of a charged particle and is measured in joules. Electric potential is used to calculate the electric potential energy of a particle at a specific point in an electric field.

4. How is electric potential calculated?

Electric potential is calculated by dividing the electric potential energy by the charge of the particle. It can also be calculated by multiplying the electric field strength by the distance between the two points in the field.

5. What are some real-world applications of electric potential and electric potential energy?

Electric potential and electric potential energy are important concepts in understanding the behavior of electric fields and the movement of charged particles. They are used in various technologies, such as electric circuits, batteries, and generators. They are also crucial in understanding the behavior of lightning and the functioning of electronic devices.

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