The electric potential

  • #1

Homework Statement

How is the electric potential different from the electric potential energy of a charge. what is the conceptual meaning of the electric potential.

Homework Equations

U=qV; U= kq1q2/r
r= distance between two charges

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
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.
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  • #3
oh! Thank you so much that really cleared my head. I really understand the concept now. Thanks!
  • #4
I am really glad I could help you. :wink:

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