# Energy=work, but how does work = electric potential energy?

• malinarn
In summary: So gravitation potential energy is the same as electrical potential except it's a different source (the field versus the mass of the earth)? I think i understand this, I guess a better question would be how to relate the SI units of work and energy. I know that they are related, but how (Volts * q) which equals electric potential energy relates to Work (Fd) is beyond me. any ideas?geez i think i figured it out. the SI unit of energy is Joules. Joules also equals Newton*meters. Work is force*distance, which is also Newton*meters, so all that makes sense. Then electric potential energy (U)=V*q or electric potential and charge. (sorry

#### malinarn

yes, energy = work, but how does electric potential energy (U) = Vq (electric potential and charge) relate to work (W=Fd), specifically. An example would be most helpful!

Back up a bit. Do you also have a problem relating work to gravitatonal potential energy, which I presume, you've encountered already?

Zz.

So gravitation potential energy is the same as electrical potential except it's a different source (the field versus the mass of the earth)? I think i understand this, I guess a better question would be how to relate the SI units of work and energy. I know that they are related, but how (Volts * q) which equals electric potential energy relates to Work (Fd) is beyond me. any ideas?

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geez i think i figured it out. the SI unit of energy is Joules. Joules also equals Newton*meters. Work is force*distance, which is also Newton*meters, so all that makes sense. Then electric potential energy (U)=V*q or electric potential and charge. (sorry I got it wrong above). well, volts also equals J/C. so when you cancel the coulombs with the charge in the equation you're left with just Joules! that's how regular old energy relates to electric potential energy, then how to relate energy to work. well, work is Fd and energy is Newton meters (or force* distance). so that's it right? this may have been stupid and really pointless, sorry for that...but I did learn here (if all this is even right?)! haha thanks for your help connecting ideas!

It is not stupid and pointless. And this illustrate my philosophy in teaching, in which you learn new things on top of things you already know. That's why I wanted to ask you if you are already OK with gravitational potential energy, because if you are, then the electrostatic potential energy is no different other than mass being replaced by charge.

The BEST learning method is when, with some help, you discover for yourself the solution to the problem you face. I merely tried to guide you so that you can do this for yourself. Next time, when you encounter a problem, you will learn this technique of thinking where you try to see if there have been something similar that you've encountered before that can guide you to tackle the new problem.

Zz.

## 1. What is the relationship between energy and work?

Energy and work are closely related concepts. Energy is the ability to do work, and work is the transfer of energy from one system to another. In other words, work is the process of using energy to move an object, apply a force, or generate heat.

## 2. How is work defined in physics?

In physics, work is defined as the product of force and displacement. This means that work is done when a force is applied to an object and causes it to move in the same direction as the force. The formula for work is W = Fd, where W is work, F is the applied force, and d is the displacement.

## 3. Can work be negative?

Yes, work can be negative. This occurs when the force and displacement are in opposite directions. In this case, the work done on the object is negative, meaning that energy is being taken away from the object rather than being transferred to it.

## 4. How does work relate to electric potential energy?

Work and electric potential energy are related through the concept of conservative forces. Conservative forces are those that do work without dissipating any energy, such as gravity and electrostatic forces. When an object moves against a conservative force, work is done and the object gains potential energy. This potential energy can then be converted back into work when the object moves in the opposite direction.

## 5. How is electric potential energy different from kinetic energy?

Electric potential energy and kinetic energy are two forms of energy that an object can possess. Electric potential energy is the energy stored in an object as a result of its position or configuration in an electric field. On the other hand, kinetic energy is the energy an object has due to its motion. The main difference between these two forms of energy is that electric potential energy is potential, meaning it has the potential to do work, while kinetic energy is already being used to do work.