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V P = R P E · d l .

From our previous discussion of the potential energy of a charge in an electric field, the result is independent of the path chosen, and hence we can pick the integral path that is most convenient.

Consider the special case of a positive point charge q at the origin. To calculate the potential caused by q at a distance r from the origin relative to a reference of 0 at infinity (recall that we did the same for potential energy), let P = r and R = , with d l = d r = r ^ d r and use E = k q r 2 r ^ . When we evaluate the integral

V P = R P E · d l

for this system, we have

V r = r k q r 2 r ^ · r ^ d r ,

which simplifies to

V r = r k q r 2 d r = k q r k q = k q r .

This result,

V r = k q r

is the standard form of the potential of a point charge. This will be explored further in the next section.

To examine another interesting special case, suppose a uniform electric field E is produced by placing a potential difference (or voltage) Δ V across two parallel metal plates, labeled A and B ( [link] ). Examining this situation will tell us what voltage is needed to produce a certain electric field strength. It will also reveal a more fundamental relationship between electric potential and electric field.

The figure shows electric field between two plates (A and B) with opposite charges. The plates are separated by distance d and have a potential difference V subscript AB. A positive charge q is located between the plates and moves from A to B.
The relationship between V and E for parallel conducting plates is E = V / d . (Note that Δ V = V A B in magnitude. For a charge that is moved from plate A at higher potential to plate B at lower potential, a minus sign needs to be included as follows: Δ V = V A V B = V A B . )

From a physicist’s point of view, either Δ V or E can be used to describe any interaction between charges. However, Δ V is a scalar quantity and has no direction, whereas E is a vector quantity, having both magnitude and direction. (Note that the magnitude of the electric field, a scalar quantity, is represented by E .) The relationship between Δ V and E is revealed by calculating the work done by the electric force in moving a charge from point A to point B . But, as noted earlier, arbitrary charge distributions require calculus. We therefore look at a uniform electric field as an interesting special case.

The work done by the electric field in [link] to move a positive charge q from A , the positive plate, higher potential, to B , the negative plate, lower potential, is

W = Δ U = q Δ V .

The potential difference between points A and B is

Δ V = ( V B V A ) = V A V B = V A B .

Entering this into the expression for work yields

W = q V A B .

Work is W = F · d = F d cos θ ; here cos θ = 1 , since the path is parallel to the field. Thus, W = F d . Since F = q E , we see that W = q E d .

Substituting this expression for work into the previous equation gives

q E d = q V A B .

The charge cancels, so we obtain for the voltage between points A and B

V A B = E d E = V A B d } ( uniform E -field only )

where d is the distance from A to B , or the distance between the plates in [link] . Note that this equation implies that the units for electric field are volts per meter. We already know the units for electric field are newtons per coulomb; thus, the following relation among units is valid:

1 N / C = 1 V / m .

Furthermore, we may extend this to the integral form. Substituting [link] into our definition for the potential difference between points A and B , we obtain

Questions & Answers

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
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
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.
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)
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?
what is an ideal gas?
Justine Reply
What is meant by zero Kelvin ?
Why does water cool when put in the pot ?
when we pour the water in a vessel(pot) the hot body(water) loses its heat to the surrounding in order to maintain thermal equilibrium.Thus,water cools.
when we drop water in the pot, the pot body loses heat to surrounded in order to maintain thermal equilibrium thus,water cool.
types of thermometer?
yemisi Reply
thermometer, Radiation thermometer and vapour pressure thermometer.liquid thermometer use thermometric liquid like mercury ,alcohol etc.
liqid thermometer ,gas thermometer, resitance thermometer,thermo electric thermometer , radiation thermometer andvapour pressure thermometer
calculate the quantity of heat required to rise the temperature of 1gmail of ice _10 to 110
Dargu Reply
A 40cm tall glass is filled with water to a depth of 30cm. A.what is the gauge pressure at the bottom of the glass? B.what is the absolute pressure at the bottom of the glass?
Abdulaziz Reply
A glass bottle full of mercury has mass 50g when heated through 35degree, 2.43g of mercury was expelled. Calculate the mass of the mercury remaining in the bottle
Anjorin Reply
Two electric point charges Q=2micro coulomb are fixed in space a distance 2.0cm apart. calculate the electric potential at the point p located a distance d/2 above the central point between two charges
Abdul Reply
what is wave
Ahmed Reply
A wave is a periodic disturbance which travel with a finite velocity and remains unchanged in type as it travels.
What's a wave motion?
What is charge bodies
Oje Reply
which have free elections
Show that if a vector is gradient of a scaler function then its line around a closed path is zero
Charge bodies are those which have free electons
the melting point of gold is 1064degree cencius and is boiling point is 2660 degree cenciu
Ilyas Reply
is Thomas's young experiment interference experiment or diffraction experiment or both
Ilyas Reply
An aqueous solution is prepared by diluting 3.30 mL acetone (d = 0.789 g/mL) with water to a final volume of 75.0 mL. The density of the solution is 0.993 g/mL. What is the molarity, molality and mole fraction of acetone in this solution?
A 4.0kg mess kit sliding on a fractionless surface explodes into two 2.0 kg parts.3.0 m/s due to north and 0.5 m/s 30 degree north of east. what is the speed of the mess kit
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, University physics volume 2. OpenStax CNX. Oct 06, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col12074/1.3
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