The simple difference in between electric potential and also electric potential power is that electrical potential in ~ a suggest in an electrical field is the amount of work-related done to lug the unit hopeful charge from infinity to that point, while electric potential energy is the power that is needed to relocate a charge versus the electrical field.The gravitational potential at a point in the gravitational field is the gravitational potential power of a unit mass inserted at that point. In this way, the electric potential at any point in the electrical field is the electrical potential power of a unit hopeful charge at that point.If W is the work-related done in moving a unit optimistic charge q from infinity to a particular point in the field, the electric potential V in ~ this suggest is provided by: V = W/qIt suggests that electric potential is measured family member to part reference point and prefer potential energy we can measure just the readjust in potential between two points.Electric potential is the scalar quantity. That unit is volt i beg your pardon is same to joule every coulomb (J/C).See Also: varieties of charges




You are watching: What is the electric potential energy of the group of charges in the figure? (figure 1)

Definition that volt

If one joule of occupational done versus electric filed to lug the unit optimistic charge from infinity come the suggest in the electrical field climate potential difference at that allude will be one volt.

Electric potential energy

To use the legislation of conservation of energy, we need to specify electric potential energy, potential energy can be characterized only for conservative force. The job-related done by a conservative pressure in moving an object between any kind of two location is live independence of the route taken. The electrostatic force between any kind of two fees is conservative since the dependence of on positions is just like the gravitational pressure which is a conservative force. Therefore we can specify potential power for electrostatic force.We know that the adjust in potential power between any kind of two points, a and also b equates to the an unfavorable of job-related done by the conservative force on an item as it moves from point a to suggest b:


Δ P.E = -W

Hence we define the change in potential power (P.Eb – P.E a), as soon as a point charge q move from some suggest a come another point b.As the an adverse of the work done by the electric force on charge as it move from suggest a to b.For Example, consider the electrical field between two equally yet oppositely fee parallel plates, us assume your separation is small compared to your width and also height, so the field will be uniform over most of the region as shown in the figure:

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Work is excellent by thethe electric field in moving thepositive charge from place a toposition b.Now take into consideration tiny positive charge q placed at point “a” very near to the positive plate. This fee q is so tiny that it has no impact on electric field E.If this fee q at allude a is released, the electrical force will certainly do job-related on the charge and accelerate it in the direction of the an adverse plate. Work-related done by the electric field E to move the fee at a distance d is:


 W= Fd =-qed

In this case, the electric field is uniform. In the case which is illustrated over potential distinction decreases, as the charged particle moves from suggest a come b, the corpuscle kinetic energy increases by an same amount.According to the legislation of preservation of energy, electric potential energy is transformed into kinetic energy, and total energy is conserved.

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Keep in mind that the confident charge q has actually its best potential energy at allude a, close to positive plate. The turning back is true because that a negative charge,its potential power is best near the an unfavorable plate.See Also: Principle of Work and EnergyVideo around the difference in between electric potential and also electric potential energy