Voltage (Electric Potential) If the path by which charged particles follow an electric field does not matter, such as for electrons in an electrical circuit, it would be more convenient to have a non-vector quantity that essentially indicates how much potential there is for charged particles to be pushed around. The physics quantity meeting this description is often referred to as electric potential , but most of us are more familiar with the term voltage , and this avoids the risk of confusing it with electric potential energy , which is not the same thing at all. Obviously voltage must be closely related to the electric field. The simple equation for finding the electric field from a linear voltage is E=-V/ l , but the precise equation is a derivative ( ! E = ! ˆ x dV / dx ) and voltage is a scalar while electric field is a vector. The true equation, then, for finding voltage from electric field intensity is not V=-E l , but V = !
This is the end of the preview. Sign up
access the rest of the document.
This note was uploaded on 04/05/2012 for the course PHYS 131 taught by Professor Tibbets during the Spring '11 term at Cuyamaca College.