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Homework Help: Electric potention

  1. Feb 9, 2008 #1
    what is the difference between the electric potential andn the potential energy??
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 9, 2008 #2
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential" [Broken]

    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
  4. Feb 9, 2008 #3
    hmmm...I guess electric potential is the potential *only* due to electric field around the body, whereas potential energy is the sum of electric potential+Gravitational potential+any other potential you can have(like if there are magnets lying around?)
  5. Feb 10, 2008 #4


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    Electric potential has units of potential energy PER UNIT CHARGE. It's useful, because if you have a fixed source charge, and you want to know what the potential energy of the system will be if you add a test charge a certain distance away from it, the answer of course will vary depending on the value of the test charge. The potential expresses it on a per unit charge basis, giving you a sensible way to measure the "strength" of this source.
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