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Electric potential energy formula deltaPE=-qE(deltaX)

  1. Feb 19, 2015 #1
    About the formula deltaPE=-qE(deltaX) .. Whats the negative sign means ?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2015 #2

    jbriggs444

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    If the E field points to the right and the charge moves to the right, the field is providing energy to the charge. To conserve energy, this means that less potential energy remains. So the delta PE is negative.
     
  4. Feb 20, 2015 #3
    So do you mean as the charge moves from left to the right its PE is decreasing ? Btw, the charge is positive or negative ?
     
  5. Feb 20, 2015 #4

    jbriggs444

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    I was assuming a positive charge. That keeps the number of negations we have to worry about to a minimum.

    Yes, if the E field points rightward and a positive charge moves rightward, the potential energy of that charge is reduced.
     
  6. Feb 20, 2015 #5
    Oh okay .. I finally understand it. Thank you ..
     
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