# Homework Help: Gravitational Pot. Engergy & Electrical Pot Energy

1. Jan 22, 2012

### Apples~

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Compare and contrast gravitational potential energy and electrical potential energy

2. Relevant equations

W=ΔEe (work=Δelectrical energy)

3. The attempt at a solution
I know what gravitational potential energy is but I don't quite understand what electrical potential energy is. I can grasp that electrical pot. energy is when you do work on a charged object against an electrical field. But how would you go about calculating ΔEe? Would it be similar to calculating gravitational potential energy where W=Force x Distance?

2. Jan 22, 2012

### Spinnor

One interesting difference, we think of mass as some positive quantity, but electric charge comes in positive and negative quantities, (and color charge comes in 6 quantities). Masses attract, charges may or may not.

Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
3. Jan 22, 2012

### Spinnor

Not quite what was asked for but similar, gravitational potential energy is always negative,

U = -GMm/R

but electrostatic potential energy can be positive or negative,

V = kQq/R

Which gives rise to masses attract, charge may or may not.

(what of color potential energy, if there is such a thing, how might it go).