1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electric potential at the center of a dipole

  1. Dec 10, 2012 #1
    Potential at the center of an electric dipole is zero. This doesnt make intuitive sense, how can work required to bring an arbitrary charge from infinity to the center of a dipole be zero? Imagine a charge at some distance on horizontal bisector of the dipole, it will deflect from the horizontal line and get attracted to one or the other dipole charge....that means there will be some nonzero work involved to bring test charge to the center of the dipole. Can anyone please throw some light on it?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 10, 2012 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    No. If the particle moves along the bisector line, the electric force on it is always perpendicular to the direction of motion. Therefore the force that you exert on the charge to counteract the electric force and keep the charge from straying from the line, does no work.
  4. Dec 10, 2012 #3
    Oh...got it. Thanks a lot, i was stuck with it for quite some time.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook