Negative voltage

  • #1
when a magnet is falling through a solenoid, voltage is produced.
Once positive is produced and the when the magnet leaves the solenoid negative voltage is produced.

Voltage is the energy lost by a unit charge when travelling from one point to the other.

So if there is negative voltage produced, does this mean charge gains energy?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Born2bwire
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Voltage requires a defined path (though because the electric field is a conservative force, the actual path does not matter, only the endpoints). So yes, if you have a negative voltage, then a test charge would gain energy by following that path. Reverse the path and you have a positive voltage which is the energy you have to expend to move the test charge back to the starting position.

EDIT: Should qualify that the sign of your test charge matters too. We are talking about a positive charge above. A negative charge would be the opposite.
 
Last edited:
  • #3
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Whatever the sign of the voltage, and whatever the sign of the charge of the test charge, the field will make it move in a way that it gains kinetic energy from the field. It's dangerous to talk about potential energy, because the electric field is not conservative in the presence of a changing magnetic field.
If you hook up a resistor to the solenoid, it will produce heat, both with a negative and a positive voltage across it.
 

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