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**Unformatted text preview: **E LECTRIC P OTENTIAL A LI A LZAHRANI Electric potential energy is the energy needed to change the spatial configuration of charged particles from initial to final destinations. ∆? = ? − ? ¡ = −? We used to take the energy at infinity is zero, therefore, the energy required to move any charged particle to any position is ? = −? Electric potential ‘potential’ is defined as the potential energy per unit charge, such as ? = ? ¢ E LECTRIC P OTENTIAL The potential difference between any two points is defined as ∆? = ? − ? ? = ¡ ¢ − ¡ ? ¢ = ∆¡ ¢ = − ? ¢ The SI unit of potential is ‘volt (V)’ which is also J/C. However, the potential energy is measured by ‘electron-volt (eV)’ which is 1.6 × 10 £¤9 J . 1 eV = 1.6 × 10 £¤9 C. (1 J/C) = 1.6 × 10 £¤9 J Equipotential surfaces are those where each point on them have the same electric potential or the potential difference between any two points is zero. Therefore no net work should be done on a charged particle to move between any two points on that surface. E LECTRIC P OTENTIAL E QUIPOTENTIAL S URFACE- E XAMPLES (d) Uniform electric field (a) A single positive charge (b) An electric diploe (c) Two positive charges The electric potential is defined in terms of electric field as ∆? = − . ?¡ ? From this we note that 1 V = 1 N.m/C or 1 N/C = 1 V/m. If the initial potential is zero, the above equation becomes ? = − . ?¡ ? NOTE : It is important to note that the potential is a scalar quantity NOT a vector. E LECTRIC P OTENTIAL AND F IELD The electric potential of a point charge ? at any distance ? can be evaluated from ¡ = − . ?¢ ?...

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