1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Find Electric Potential by integrating the electric field.

  1. Oct 23, 2012 #1
    My question is:

    If you have a E= Ex+Ey+Ez

    To find V(x,y,z), i should:

    Just integrate Ex in order x?

    ∂V(x,y,z)/∂x = -Ex so:

    -V(x,y,z) = ∫Exdx

    or have i to sum the three integrals?

    -V(x,y,z) = ∫Exdx + ∫Eydy +∫Ezdz
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2012 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't think so. Ex may be a function of x,y,z.
  4. Oct 23, 2012 #3
    By definiton, E(x,y,z)=-grad V(x,y,z). This means that Ex(x,y,z)=-dV(x,y,z)/dx, so just Ex will be - integral of Ex*dx. V(x,y,z) will be the sum of the three integrals, in respect to the three components of the E vector.
  5. Oct 23, 2012 #4
    I thought that by knowing one of the components of the vector field, i could discover the electric potential.

    So it is the sum of the three integrals:

    -V(x,y,z) = ∫Exdx + ∫Eydy +∫Ezdz

    Thanks for the answers.
  6. Oct 25, 2012 #5
    Here's another version of the analysis:

    dV = (∂V/∂x)dx + (∂V/∂y)dy + (∂V/∂z)dz

    = -Exdx -Eydy -Ezdz
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook