Modified from
College Physics
, 8
th
Ed., Serway and Vuille.
For the quizzes and tests, you should know all the concepts and equations in this
summary.
16.1: Potential Difference and Electric Potential
The change in the electric potential energy of a system consisting of an object of charge
q
moving
through a displacement
Δ
x
in a constant electric field pointing in the +x direction is given by
[16.1]
x
qE
W
PE
x
AB
Δ
−
=
−
=
Δ
where
E
x
is the component of the electric field in the
x
direction and
. The
difference in electric potential
between two points
A
and
B
is
i
f
x
x
x
−
=
Δ
q
PE
V
V
V
A
B
Δ
=
−
=
Δ
[16.2]
where
is the
change
in electrical potential energy as a charge
q
moves between
A
and
B
.
The units of potential difference are
volts
.
PE
Δ
The
electric potential difference
between two points
A
and
B
in a
uniform
electric field pointing
in the +x direction is
x
E
V
Δ
−
=
Δ
[16.3]
where
is the displacement between
A
and
B
.
i
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 Fall '09
 Electric Potential, Energy, Potential Energy, Potential difference, Electric charge

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