Chapter 20
2.
Picture the Problem
: A uniform electric field
creates a change in the electric
potential along the
direction.
Strategy:
The change in electric potential is given by equation 204,
, where
is equal to
because the field points in the
direction.
. There is no change in the
electric potential along the
directions. The change in electric potential from
point A to point B is independent of the path taken between those two points.
Solution:
1. (a)
Here
because the path is in the
direction:
2. (b)
Solve equation 204 for
:
3.
(c)
The potential changes by
an amount equal to the sum of
paths 1 and 2 above:
Insight:
Note that the potential changes only along the direction parallel to the field. This is consistent
with statement, “The electric field points downhill on the potential surface,” as described by figure 20
3 and the accompanying text.
11.
Picture the Problem
: A uniform electric field
creates a change in the electric potential
along the
direction.
Strategy:
The change in electric potential is given
by equation
204,
, where
is equal to
because the
field points in the
direction. There is no change
in the electric potential along the
directions.
The change in electric potential between any two
points is independent of the path taken between
those two points.
Solution:
1. (a)
between points A
and B:
2.
(b)
Solve equation 204 for
between points B and C:
3. (c)
Repeat for points C and A:
4. (d)
No, we cannot determine the value of the electric potential at point A because the location of
zero potential has not been established. We could always choose
if we wish!
Insight:
Note that the potential changes only along the direction parallel to the field and is higher at
point C than at either point A or point B. This is consistent with statement, “The electric field points
downhill on the potential surface,” as described by figure 203 and the accompanying text.
17.
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 Spring '08
 Dr.G
 Physics, Electric Potential, Energy, Potential Energy, Electric charge

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