PPE17_EquipotenialLines - Potential Equipotential Lines and...

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© RHJansen Potential Potential Equipotential Lines and Equipotential Lines and Potential Diagrams Potential Diagrams
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Equipotential © RHJansen Equal Potential If you move along an equipotential, then there is no change in potential (no potential difference or potential difference is zero). Δ V = 0 While potential is unique to electricity it is very similar to height in gravity. If an object has a lot of height in gravity or potential in electricity, then it has the potential to go fast. This means the object has potential energy and it can do work. If an object moves to a place with equal potential (similar to moving to a place with equal height in gravity), then potential energy did not change and no work was done . This is like moving a mass horizontally. Potential is so similar to height in gravity that positive charges are thought of as up and negative charges as down. Equipotential lines are line where you do not go up or down. They are like lines of equal height. They are similar to contour lines on a topographic map.
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Equipotential Lines © RHJansen Electricity Gravity comparison Change in potential Change in potential The closest thing to potential is h Change in potential energy Change in potential energy Work Work V = 0 U E = q V = q 0 ( 29 = 0 W = ∆ U E = q V = q 0 ( 29 = 0 h = 0 U g = mg h = mg 0 ( 29 = 0 W = ∆ U g = mg h = mg 0 ( 29 = 0
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Equipotential Lines: Gravity Analogy © RHJansen If you looked at a mountain in profile it might look like this: Add lines representing equal height . These lines are known as elevation lines. If you move along these lines h and U g do not change, and no work is done. These are the gravity equipotential lines.
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Equipotential Lines: Gravity Analogy © RHJansen If it were drawn from above, on a flat piece of paper, it may look like this. This is known as the contour view , and is seen on topographic maps.
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Equipotential Lines: Gravity Analogy © RHJansen If I took a bowling ball to various places on the hill and rolled it down and recorded its path, I might get the following. These arrows represent the direction that gravity pulls a mass down the hill. The arrows are the direction of the component of the gravity field pulling the ball downward.
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Equipotential Line: Electricity © RHJansen We’ll can do the same for electricity, but we will do it backwards . When we learned how to draw the electric field lines we were actually constructing a contour diagram similar to the gravity diagram just draw. Given the charges at the center we drew the way a positive test charge would move (like a mass rolling down hill). The gravity problem drawn this way would have looked like this. Without all the detail of the hills shape this might not make sense. However, in electricity we started with simple straight line situations.
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Equipotential Lines: Electricity © RHJansen The contour (from the top) view is easiest to draw, especially since it is 2D.
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This note was uploaded on 07/21/2009 for the course PHYSICS 7B taught by Professor Packard during the Spring '08 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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PPE17_EquipotenialLines - Potential Equipotential Lines and...

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