Lecture 11

Lecture 11 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya...

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PEP112 – Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya 20 February 2008 The Electric Potential Energy of a Dipole
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The Zero of Potential Energy • It is useful to think that zero means no interaction. • For the two point charges , the zero point at infinity appeared from the integral: • A zero of potential at infinity allows us to think of the electric potential energy as the amount of interaction 12 2 | ff f i ii xx x el on x fi Kq q Kq q Kq q Kq q W F dx dx x x ∫∫ == = = +
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Escape Velocity A zero point at infinity presents a difficulty of interpreting negative energies. All a negative energy means is that the system has less energy than two charged particles that infinitely far apart and at rest. A system with a negative total energy is a bound system. The two particles cannot escape from each other. Two opposite charges with positive total energy can escape. They’ll slow down as they move apart, but eventually potential energy vanishes and they continue to coast apart with kinetic energy. The threshold is E=0. Then two particles can escape but it will take infinitely long because kinetic energy approaches zero. The initial velocity that allows a particle to reach infinity with zero final velocity is called the escape velocity.
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Example An interaction between two elementary particles causes an
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2008 for the course PEP 112 taught by Professor Whittaker during the Spring '07 term at Stevens.

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Lecture 11 - PEP112 Spring 2008 Prof. Svetlana Malinovskaya...

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