Electric potential

Imagine an electric field generated by a charge Q, when a test load is placed what in its operating space we can see that, according to the combination of signals between the two loads, this load what, will be attracted or repelled, acquiring movement, and consequently Kinetic Energy.

Recalling the kinetic energy studied in mechanics, we know that for a body to acquire kinetic energy there must be a potential energy stored in some way. When this energy is linked to the action of an electric field, it is called Electric Potential Energy or Electrostatic, symbolized by .

The unit used for it's the joule (J).

It can be said that the generating charge produces an electric field that can be described by a quantity called Electric potential (or electrostatic).

Similar to the Electric Field, the potential can be described as the quotient between the electric potential energy and the test load. what. That is:


The unit adopted in SI for the electric potential is the volt (V), in honor of Italian physicist Alessandro Volta, and the unit designates Joule as coulomb (J / C).

When there is more than one electrified particle generating electric fields, at a point P that is subject to all these fields, the electric potential is equal to the sum of all potentials created by each charge, ie:

A widely used way to represent potentials is through equipotentials, which are lines or surfaces perpendicular to the lines of force, that is, lines that represent the same potential.

For the particular case where the field is generated by only one charge, these equipotential lines will be circumferences, since the potential value decreases uniformly as the distance increases (taking into account a two-dimensional representation, since if the representation were three-dimensional, equipotentials would be represented by hollow spheres, which constitutes the so-called onion peel effect, where the more internal the peel, the greater its potential).