Electric Potential Equations: Understanding and Applying in Non-Uniform Fields

In summary, electric potential, denoted as V, is created by source charges and affects the space around them. When a test charge, q, is placed in this space, it experiences electric potential energy, U. The equation V = Uq + sources/q is derived from the conservation of energy principle, and can also be expressed as ΔU = -ΔK or ΔU = -W. For a constant electric field, U = qEd, but this equation does not apply for a non-constant electric field. Advice for understanding and solving problems related to electric potential is available upon request.

Homework Statement

Hello, I am wondering if I am thinking about electric potential correctly:
Stop me if I am wrong:
V=electric potential, the electric potential is created by source charges altering space around them.
If you place a test charge, q, within that space we can say it experiences electric potential energy U.

My book gives me an equation V=Uq + sources/q.
since energy is conserved could we say ΔU=-ΔK? furthermore could we say ΔU=-W?
If so I see many possibilities of equations for V.

For a constant electric Field I know that U=qEd, therefore V=qEd/q=Ed
I believe this is just for a constant electric field...
How would the equations change for a non-constant electric field?
I have all these equations and have an okay understanding of them but when I do problems things are just not clicking...any advice/input would be appreciated

If you place a test charge, q, within that space we can say it experiences electric potential energy U.
Add "where U = qV" to this.

The rest of your understanding is fine. Yes, V = Ed is only the case for a uniform electric field. Constant means it does not change with time. Uniform means its magnitude and direction do not change from one point of space to another. You can have a uniform field that is not constant and a constant field that is not uniform.
Advice on specific problems will be supplied by us when it is needed. Just ask.

1. What is electric potential?

Electric potential is a measure of the amount of electrical potential energy that a unit of charge has at a specific point in an electric field. It is also known as voltage and is measured in volts.

2. What is the equation for electric potential?

The equation for electric potential is V = kQ/r, where V is the electric potential, k is Coulomb's constant, Q is the charge, and r is the distance between the point of interest and the source of the electric field.

3. How is electric potential related to electric field?

Electric potential and electric field are closely related. Electric potential is the amount of potential energy per unit charge, while electric field is the force exerted on a unit charge. The electric field is the negative gradient of the electric potential, meaning it is the rate of change of electric potential with respect to distance.

4. What is the difference between electric potential and electric potential energy?

Electric potential is a measure of the potential energy per unit charge at a specific point in an electric field. Electric potential energy, on the other hand, is the total amount of potential energy possessed by a charge in an electric field. It is equal to the product of electric potential and charge.

5. How is electric potential affected by the presence of multiple charges?

When multiple charges are present, the electric potential at a point is the sum of the individual potentials due to each charge. This is known as the principle of superposition. The electric potential at a point will also depend on the distance and relative positions of the charges.

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