<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Conservation of energy

The total energy of a system is conserved if there is no net addition (or subtraction) due to work or heat transfer. For conservative forces, such as the electrostatic force, conservation of energy states that mechanical energy is a constant.

Mechanical energy is the sum of the kinetic energy and potential energy of a system; that is, K + U = constant . A loss of U for a charged particle becomes an increase in its K . Conservation of energy is stated in equation form as

K + U = constant

or

K i + U i = K f + U f

where i and f stand for initial and final conditions. As we have found many times before, considering energy can give us insights and facilitate problem solving.

Electrical potential energy converted into kinetic energy

Calculate the final speed of a free electron accelerated from rest through a potential difference of 100 V. (Assume that this numerical value is accurate to three significant figures.)

Strategy

We have a system with only conservative forces. Assuming the electron is accelerated in a vacuum, and neglecting the gravitational force (we will check on this assumption later), all of the electrical potential energy is converted into kinetic energy. We can identify the initial and final forms of energy to be K i = 0 , K f = 1 2 m v 2 , U i = q V , U f = 0 .

Solution

Conservation of energy states that

K i + U i = K f + U f .

Entering the forms identified above, we obtain

q V = m v 2 2 .

We solve this for v :

v = 2 q V m .

Entering values for q , V , and m gives

v = 2 ( −1.60 × 10 −19 C ) ( 100 J/C ) 9.11 × 10 −31 kg = 5.93 × 10 6 m/s .

Significance

Note that both the charge and the initial voltage are negative, as in [link] . From the discussion of electric charge and electric field, we know that electrostatic forces on small particles are generally very large compared with the gravitational force. The large final speed confirms that the gravitational force is indeed negligible here. The large speed also indicates how easy it is to accelerate electrons with small voltages because of their very small mass. Voltages much higher than the 100 V in this problem are typically used in electron guns. These higher voltages produce electron speeds so great that effects from special relativity must be taken into account and hence are reserved for a later chapter ( Relativity ). That is why we consider a low voltage (accurately) in this example.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Check Your Understanding How would this example change with a positron? A positron is identical to an electron except the charge is positive.

It would be going in the opposite direction, with no effect on the calculations as presented.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Voltage and electric field

So far, we have explored the relationship between voltage and energy. Now we want to explore the relationship between voltage and electric field. We will start with the general case for a non-uniform E field. Recall that our general formula for the potential energy of a test charge q at point P relative to reference point R is

U P = R P F · d l .

When we substitute in the definition of electric field ( E = F / q ) , this becomes

U P = q R P E · d l .

Applying our definition of potential ( V = U / q ) to this potential energy, we find that, in general,

Questions & Answers

A closely wound search coil has an area of 4cm^2,1000 turns and a resistance of 40ohm. It is connected to a ballistic galvanometer whose resistance is 24 ohm. When coil is rotated from a position parallel to uniform magnetic field to one perpendicular to field,the galvanometer indicates a charge
Palak Reply
Using Kirchhoff's rules, when choosing your loops, can you choose a loop that doesn't have a voltage?
Michael Reply
how was the check your understand 12.7 solved?
Bysteria Reply
Who is ISSAAC NEWTON
LOAK Reply
he's the father of 3 newton law
Hawi
he is Chris Issaac's father :)
Ethem
how to name covalent bond
Bryan Reply
Who is ALEXANDER BELL
LOAK
what do you understand by the drift voltage
Brunelle Reply
what do you understand by drift velocity
Brunelle
nothing
Gamal
well when you apply a small electric field to a conductor that causes to add a little velocity to charged particle than usual, which become their average speed, that is what we call a drift.
graviton
drift velocity
graviton
what is an electromotive force?
Danilo Reply
It is the amount of other forms of energy converted into electrical energy per unit charge that flow through it.
Brunelle
How electromotive force is differentiated from the terminal voltage?
Danilo
in the emf power is generated while in the terminal pd power is lost.
Brunelle
what is then chemical name of NaCl
Sagar Reply
sodium chloride
Azam
sodium chloride
Brunelle
Sodium Chloride.
Ezeanyim
How can we differentiate between static point and test charge?
Comfort Reply
Wat is coplanar in physics
Humble Reply
two point charges +30c and +10c are separated by a distance of 80cm,compute the electric intensity and force on a +5×10^-6c charge place midway between the charges
Tijani Reply
0.0844kg
Humble
what is the difference between temperature and heat
Ishom Reply
Heat is the condition or quality of being hot While Temperature is ameasure of cold or heat, often measurable with a thermometer
Abdul
Temperature is the one of heat indicators of materials that can be measured with thermometers, and Heat is the quantity of calor content in material that can be measured with calorimetry.
Gamma
the average kinetic energy of molecules is called temperature. heat is the method or mode to transfer energy to molecules of an object but randomly, while work is the method to transfer energy to molecules in such manner that every molecules get moved in one direction.
Adnan
2. A brass rod of length 50cm and diameter 3mm is joined to a steel rod of the same length and diameter. What is the change in length of the combined rod at 250°c( degree Celsius) if the original length are 40°c(degree Celsius) is there at thermal stress developed at the junction? The end of the rod are free to expand (coefficient of linear expansion of brass = 2.0×10^-5, steel=1.2×10^-5k^1)
TONEJIT Reply
A charge insulator can be discharged by passing it just above a flame. Explain.
Mudassar Reply
of the three vectors in the equation F=qv×b which pairs are always at right angles?
DRASHTI Reply
Practice Key Terms 4

Get the best University physics vol... course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'University physics volume 2' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask