Relation between electric potential energy and electric field

1. May 31, 2013

Pushpam Singh

Please explain the relation between electric potential energy and electric field in detail.

2. May 31, 2013

d.3vil

component of the electric field at
a given point in space is equal to minus the local gradient of the electric potential in that direction...

3. Jun 2, 2013

tannerbk

Because ∇ x E = 0, it is possible to write the electric field as a gradient of some scalar. This is true for any vector whose line integral around a close loop is 0 (path indepdendence). Because the line integral is path indepdendent we define V(r) = - ∫ E . dl . It is then easy to derive E = -∇V. I think these two equations provide the best insight into the relation between the electric field and the electric potential. Remember that in the definition of the electric potential there is a choice of reference point that is arbitrary. Thus any two V's differing only in reference point correspond to the same E.

4. Jun 2, 2013

Staff: Mentor

Please do not ask questions like that, see https://www.physicsforums.com/blog.php?b=3588 [Broken] for details.

Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017