Chapter 24 Lecture 20 Electric Potential
Electrical Potential Energy When a test charge is placed in an electric field, it experiences a force The force is conservative If the test charge is moved in the field by some external agent, the work done by the field is the negative of the work done by the external agent is an infinitesimal displacement vector that is oriented tangent to a path through space o q F E d s
Electric Potential Energy, cont The work done by the electric field is As this work is done by the field, the potential energy of the charge-field system is changed by Δ U = For a finite displacement of the charge from A to B, B B A o A U U U q d E s o d q d F s E s o q d E s
Electric Potential The potential energy per unit charge, U / q o , is the electric potential The potential is characteristic of the field only The potential energy is characteristic of the charge- field system The potential is independent of the value of q o The potential has a value at every point in an electric field The electric potential is o U V q
Electric Potential, cont. The potential is a scalar quantity Since energy is a scalar As a charged particle moves in an electric field, it will experience a change in potential B A o U V d q E s
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