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Electric potential difference during a thunderstorm

  1. Jul 15, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    During a particular thunderstorm, the electric potential difference between a cloud and the ground is Vcloud-Vground = 1.3 X 10^8 V, with the cloud being at the higher potential. What is the change in an electron's electric potential energy when the electron moves from the ground to the cloud?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Vcloud-Vground = (EPE cloud- EPE ground)/charge
    1.3X10^8 = x/1.6X10^-19
    EPE cloud- EPE ground = 2.08 X 10^-11

    Work = 2.08 X10^-11

    EPE ground- EPE cloud = - work

    so would the answer be -2.08X10^-11
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2008 #2


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    Homework Helper

    Yes, the change in potential energy is reflected in the work done by the field on the electron by moving it from the sky to the ground.
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