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The electric potential

  1. Mar 4, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How is the electric potential different from the electric potential energy of a charge. what is the conceptual meaning of the electric potential.

    2. Relevant equations
    U=qV; U= kq1q2/r
    r= distance between two charges

    3. The attempt at a solution
    i clearly understand how these formulas/ equations work. as a matter of fact i have used it to solve about 12 problems in my book (physics for scientist and engineers by Randall Knight.) I'm just eager to know what the electric potential is. i know it is a phenomena that is in an orientation in space and is felt whether or not there is a charge(s) to experience it. i understand the increase in potential when a charge moves opposite the direction of an electric field, but where does it come from?:confused: how did they come up with this epuation.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 5, 2007 #2
    The electric potential is the electric potential energy per unit charge, i.e., the work you must do to bring a unit charge from infinity to some point in space where you feel an electric field.
    The electric potential difference between two points A and B is, mathematically:

    [tex]V_B-V_A=-\int^B_A \vec E \cdot d\vec r[/tex]

    I hope I could help.

    PS- Note that the potential is scalar, so has no orientation in space. Nevertheless, you can draw equipotential surfaces, that are regions on space where the potential is the same.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 5, 2007
  4. Mar 5, 2007 #3
    oh!! Thank you so much that really cleared my head. I really understand the concept now. Thanks!!!
  5. Mar 5, 2007 #4
    I am really glad I could help you. :wink:
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