Electric Potential Difference Question (Parallel plates, higher potential)

In summary, two large parallel plates with 10.0cm separation have uniform and equal but opposite charges, resulting in a potential difference of 500 V. The question is which plate has the higher potential, and the answer may be found by considering the direction of the electric field and using an equation relating potential to electric field.
  • #1
the7joker7
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Homework Statement



I have two large parallel plates that are conducting and separated by 10.0cm. The charges on the plates are uniform and equal in magnitude but opposite in sign. The difference in potential between the two is 500 V.

The first question concerning this is which plate (positive or negative) is at the higher potential?

I don't understand the question, basically. I'm sure I could answer it if I knew what it meant. So can anyone help clear that up?
 
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  • #2
Is there a defining equation for potential in your book, which relates the potential to the electric field? That would help out here. Plus thinking about in what direction the electric field points (either from the +plate to the -plate, or from - to +).
 
  • #3


I can provide an explanation for the question at hand. In this scenario, the electric potential difference between the two plates is 500 V. This means that there is a difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between the two plates. The plate with the higher potential will have a greater amount of potential energy per unit charge compared to the other plate.

To determine which plate is at the higher potential, we need to first understand the direction of the electric field between the plates. The electric field always points from the higher potential to the lower potential. In this case, the electric field will point from the positive plate to the negative plate.

Therefore, the positive plate is at the higher potential since it has a greater amount of potential energy per unit charge compared to the negative plate. This is due to the fact that the positive plate has a higher concentration of positive charges, which creates a stronger electric field compared to the negative plate.

In summary, the plate with the higher potential will always have a greater amount of potential energy per unit charge compared to the other plate, and in this scenario, the positive plate is at the higher potential.
 

Related to Electric Potential Difference Question (Parallel plates, higher potential)

What is electric potential difference?

Electric potential difference is the difference in electric potential between two points in an electric field. It is a measure of the work needed to move a unit of electric charge from one point to another.

How is electric potential difference calculated for parallel plates?

For parallel plates, electric potential difference is calculated by dividing the magnitude of the electric field by the distance between the plates.

Why is the electric potential higher in parallel plates?

The electric potential is higher in parallel plates because the electric field is more uniform and concentrated between the plates, allowing for a greater potential difference to exist between them.

Can the electric potential difference be negative?

Yes, the electric potential difference can be negative. This indicates that the electric field is directed in the opposite direction of the movement of a positive charge.

What are some real-life applications of electric potential difference in parallel plates?

Some real-life applications of electric potential difference in parallel plates include capacitors, which store electric potential energy, and parallel plate accelerometers, which measure changes in electric potential difference to detect movement or acceleration.

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