Electric Potential

1. jorn0807

2
Hello I'm very confused on what the difference is between electric potential and Potential Energy. I though they were the same but I realized they're not after I got a 30% on a physics quiz. I tried googling it but it keeps telling me that potential energy is equal to mgh which is from mechanics not electricity and magnetism. Any simple explanations? thanks

2. dauto

Potential: V
Potential Energy: U
Electric Charge: q

The Potential energy U of a charge q placed in a potential V is given by the equation below

U=qV

As you can see, the potential energy depends on the potential but also depends on the charge placed in the potential.

Staff: Mentor

The potential is the potential energy per unit positive charge. So if you have a potential of 1000 V and a charge of -0.1 C then the potential energy is -100 J. Note that in the SI system potential is measured in V and potential energy is measured in J. 1 V = 1 J/C.