# How do I calculate the potential created by a dipole

• vbrasic
In summary, the conversation discusses the calculation of electric potentials at different points along the x-axis due to a positive and a negative charge. The equation V=kq/r is used to calculate the potentials, and the values can be added together to determine the electric dipole potential. To convert the potential to SI units, the inputs must be in SI units and the equation can be used to calculate the value in joules per coulomb.
vbrasic

## Homework Statement

I'm given that there is a positive charge of 1 nC at x=0.25 m and a negative charge of -1 nC at x=-0.25 m. I've calculated the potential created at different points along the x-axis by the positive charge and the negative charge using the formula, $$V=\frac{kq}{|r|},$$ where ##r## is the distance from the charge to the point of interest. For example the electric potential at r=5 m, due to the positive charge would be $$\frac{k*1nC}{4.75}.$$

## The Attempt at a Solution

Am I supposed to just add the two potentials to get the electric dipole potential? How do I get the value in volts?

vbrasic said:

## Homework Statement

I'm given that there is a positive charge of 1 nC at x=0.25 m and a negative charge of -1 nC at x=-0.25 m. I've calculated the potential created at different points along the x-axis by the positive charge and the negative charge using the formula, $$V=\frac{kq}{|r|},$$ where ##r## is the distance from the charge to the point of interest. For example the electric potential at r=5 m, due to the positive charge would be $$\frac{k*1nC}{4.75}.$$

## The Attempt at a Solution

Am I supposed to just add the two potentials to get the electric dipole potential? How do I get the value in volts?
Yes. To get the dipole potential, find the potential at point (x,y,z) due to each charge and then add the two values together.
Your equation $$V=\frac{kq}{|r|}$$ gives potential in volts if the inputs are in SI units. How would you convert the inputs to SI units?

vbrasic said:
Am I supposed to just add the two potentials to get the electric dipole potential? How do I get the value in volts?

electrostatic potentials due to charges are scalars and can be added as numbers of course with their signs as to due to positive or negative charges.
I think it's dimension is of energy , therefore can be expressed as joule/coulomb. so you can convert it in other units using the definition.

## 1. How do I determine the direction of the electric field created by a dipole?

The direction of the electric field created by a dipole is from the positive charge to the negative charge. This can be visualized by drawing an arrow from the positive to the negative charge.

## 2. What is the formula for calculating the potential created by a dipole?

The formula for calculating the potential created by a dipole is V = k * q / r, where V is the potential, k is the Coulomb constant (8.99 x 10^9 N*m^2/C^2), q is the magnitude of the charge, and r is the distance from the dipole to the point where potential is being calculated.

## 3. Can the distance between the dipole charges affect the potential created?

Yes, the distance between the dipole charges can affect the potential created. As the distance increases, the potential decreases, and as the distance decreases, the potential increases.

## 4. How does the direction and magnitude of the dipole affect the potential created?

The direction of the dipole does not affect the potential created, but the magnitude of the dipole does. A larger dipole will create a stronger potential than a smaller dipole.

## 5. Is there a difference in calculating the potential at different points along the dipole's axis?

Yes, the potential will vary at different points along the dipole's axis. The potential will be highest at the midpoint between the two charges and will decrease as the distance from the midpoint increases.

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