# Electric potential difference

1. Jul 15, 2015

### steve oliver

what is electric potential?and what is the difference between electric potential and potential difference?

2. Jul 15, 2015

### Abhirikshma

Electric potential at a point is defined as the amount of work one has to do to bring a unit positive charge from infinity to that point.
As potential is simply work done, it is a scalar quantity.
So the electric potential difference is simply the difference of potentials of two points.
Alternatively you can say that it is the amount of work done to take a unit positive charge from one point to the other.

3. Jul 16, 2015

### Qwertywerty

Electric potential is the amount of work required to move a unit (or an imaginary) charge from a reference point to some other point in an electric field .

Electric potential does not have an absolute value and so whenever we speak of it we speak wrt another point - thus electric potential difference . (Taking some random point to be at zero potential)

Generally we define electric potential as zero at infinity .

4. Jul 17, 2015

### GiuseppeR7

Since the electric field in stationary situation have some properities you can introduce a function P(x1,x2,x3) called potential function for which:
dP(x1,x2,x3)/dxi=Ei
where Ei is the component of the electric field in the direction of the unit vector xi (x1,x2 or x3)
the potential difference between two points p1 and p2 in the space is:
P(p2)-P(p1)