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Electric Potential Vs. Electric Potential Energy Concepts

  1. Jan 9, 2014 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A charge moves towards a positively charged sphere, as it does, it's electric potential (V) increases. Give an instance on when the Electric Potential Energy (Ee) will decrease.

    2. Relevant equations
    V= Ee/q

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Alright, This is basically a theory question. Anyways, I've been having some difficulty with this, as to my understanding when a charge gains electric potential as it moves towards a positivity charged sphere (Which, from this we can assume that the charge moving towards is positive,) and the electric potential is increasing because work is being done on it etc, because of this wouldn't the Electrical Potential Energy also increase? Since it'll have more electrical potential energy as it gets closer-since the two charges naturally want to repel each other. I'm thinking this might be an error, since electric potential is directly proportional to the Electrical Potential Energy. (According to V=Ee/q)

    Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 9, 2014 #2

    rude man

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Potential is defined with respect to a charge q. That potential is kq/r and is not affected when a second charge approaches it.

    Now, you have a choice of two polarities for the second charge. Take one polarity at a time and figure how the potential energy of that second charge is affected as it approaches the first charge (which is positive).
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