2 - ELECTROSTATIC POTENTIAL AND CAPACITANCE
Page 1
2.1 Line Integral of Electric Field
If a unit positive charge is displaced by
→→→→
dl
in an electric field of intensity
→→→→
E, work done is`given bydW =
→→→→
E
.
→→→→
dlLine integration of this equation gives the work done in displacing a unit positive chargefrom P to Q asW =
→→
⋅
∫
dlQPE This work depends only on the initial and final positions of the unit charge and not on thepath followed by it. Hence, work done in moving a charge along a closed path is equal tozero. Thus electric field like gravitational field is a conservative field.
2.2 Electrostatic Potential
The work done by the electric field in moving a unit positive electric charge from anarbitrarily selected reference point
θθθθ
,,,,
which may be inside or outside the field, to point P isgiven byW
P
=
→→
⋅
∫
dlPE
θθθθ
For the selected reference point, the value of W
P
depends only on the position of point Pand not on the path followed in going from reference point to point P.Let
θθθθ
be at infinity. The electric field at infinite distance due to finite charge distribution willbe zero. The electric field due to an infinitely long charged plane at infinite distance will notbe zero. However, in practice, one cannot have such a charge distribution.The work done in a direction, opposing the electric field in bringing a unit positive chargefrom an infinite position to any point in the electric field is called the static electric potential( V ) at that point.Its sign is taken as negative as the work done is in a direction opposite to the electric field.Thus, work done in bringing a unit positive charge from infinity to points P and Q will beV ( P ) = -
→→→→→→→→
∞∞∞∞
dlPE
⋅
∫
and V ( Q ) = -
→→→→→→→→
∞∞∞∞
dlQE
⋅
∫
∴
V ( Q ) - V ( P ) = -
→→→→→→→→
∞∞∞∞
dlQE
⋅
∫
+
→→→→→→→→
∞∞∞∞
dlPE
⋅
∫
=
→→→→→→→→
∞∞∞∞
dlPE
⋅
∫
+
→→→→→→→→
⋅⋅⋅⋅∞∞∞∞
∫ ∫∫ ∫
dlQE = -
→→→→→→→→
⋅⋅⋅⋅
∫ ∫∫ ∫
dlQPE This equation gives the electric potential of point Q with respect to point P. Its unit is volt( joule
////
coulomb ) denoted by V and its dimensional formula is M
1
L
2
T
----
3
A
----
1
.