potdiff2 - Note-A-Rific: Potential DIfference Electric...

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Note-A-Rific: Potential DIfference Electric Potential Difference (Voltage) If you place a charge in an electric field and release it, the charge will begin to accelerate from an area of high potential energy, to one of low potential energy. This is because there is an electric force acting on the charge. If you want to move the charge from a position of low to high potential energy, you must do work on the object against the electric field. You would calculate it using… W = Fd Remember from before that E = F/q ! F =qE So the change in potential energy of the charged object is… W = qEd Potential Energy of a charge depends on… 1. Charge of the object (W α q) 2. Electric field strength (W α E) 3. Distance the object is moved parallel to the field lines (W α d) Example : A positive charge of 2.3 x 10 -6 C is between two parallel plates. It is close to the negative plate. The electric field between the two plates is 1500 N/C. If we move the particle 2.0cm closer to the positive plate, how much work do we need to do? W = qEd = 2.3 x 10 -6 C (1500N/C) ( 0.020m) = 6.9 x 10 -5 J The electric potential difference ( voltage ) is the change in potential energy per unit charge… q E V = The unit for voltage, J/C, is given the name volt (V) in honour of Alessandro Volta.
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Volta is best remembered for inventing the first electric battery, a topic we will be covering shortly. Example
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potdiff2 - Note-A-Rific: Potential DIfference Electric...

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