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# Chapter 21 Electric Potential

Topics:

Reading Quiz
1. What are the units of potential difference?

Electric potential energy Electric potential Conservation of energy Potential and field Capacitors and capacitance

Sample question:
Shown is the electric potential me easured on the surface of a patient. This potential is caused by electric trical signals originating in the beating heart. Why does the potential have this pattern, and what do these measurements tell us about the hearts condition?
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Reading Quiz
2. New units of the electric field were introduced in this chapter. They are: A. V/C B. N/C C. V/m D. J/m2 E. /m F. J/C

Answer
2. New units of the electric field were introduced in this chapter. They are:

C. V/m

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Reading Quiz
3. The electric potential inside a parallel-plate parallel capacitor A. is constant. B. increases linearly from the negative to the positive plate. C. decreases linearly from the negative to the positive plate. D. decreases inversely with distance from the negative plate. E. decreases inversely with the square of the distance from the negative plate.

Answer
3. The electric potential inside a parallel-plate parallel capacitor B. increases linearly from the negative to the positive plate.

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Reading Quiz
4. The electric field A. is always perpendicular to an equipotential surface. B. is always tangent to an equipotential surface. C. always bisects an equipotential surface. D. makes an angle to an equipotential surface that depends on the amount of charge.

Answer
4. The electric field A. is always perpendicular to an equipotential surface.

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Potential Energy

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Potential Energy

Potential Energy

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## The Electric Potential Difference The Electric Potential Difference

DEFINITION OF ELECTRIC POTENTIAL The electric potential at a given point is the electric potential energy of a small test charge divided by the charge itself:

## WAB EPE A EPE B = qo qo qo

V=

EPE qo

The potential energy per unit charge is called the electric potential.

## joule/coulomb = volt (V)

EPE B EPE A WAB = qo qo qo (EPE ) WAB = qo qo

VB VA =

V =
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Electric Potential

Exercise

U elec = qV ; V = U elec / q
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A Topographic Map

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Checking Understanding

Rank in order, from largest to smallest, the electric potentials at the numbered points.

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Example
A proton has a speed of 3.5 x 105 m/s at a point where the electrical potential is 600 V. It moves through a point where the electric potential is 1000 V. What is its speed at this second point?

Example
A proton is released from rest at tp point a. It then travels past point b. What is its speed at point b?

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## The Potential Inside a Parallel-Plate Parallel Capacitor

Example
A parallel-plate plate capacitor is held at a potential difference of 250 V. A proton is fired toward a small hole in the negative plate with a speed of 3.0 x 105 m/s. What is its speed when it emerges through the hole in the positive plate? (Hint: The electric potential outside of a parallel-plate plate capacitor is zero).

V = Ex =

Q V x= C x 0 A d
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## Electric Potential: Charged Sphere

Outside of a sphere of charge Q the th potential has the same form as for a point charge Q:

V=

1 Q 4 0 r

If the sphere has radius R and the potential at its surface is V0, then the potential a distance r from its center can also be written

V=K

1 q q = r 4 0 r
V=

R V0 r

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Example
For the situation shown in the figure, find

Example
A 2.0-mm-diameter diameter plastic bead is charged to 1.0 nC. A. A proton is fired at the bead from far away with a speed of 1.0 x 106 m/s, and it collides head-on. head What is the impact speed? B. An electron is fired at the bead from far away. It reflects, with a turning point 0.10 mm from the surface of the bead. What was the electrons initial speed?

A. The potential at points a and b.The potential difference between a and b. B. The potential energy of a proton at a and b. C. The speed at point b of a proton that was moving to the right at point a with a speed of 4.0 x 105 m/s. D. The speed at point a of a proton that was moving to the left at point b with a speed of 4.0 x 105 m/s.
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Example
Source charges create the electric potential shown. A. What is the potential at point A? At which point, A, B, or C, does the electric field have its largest magnitude? B. Is the magnitude of the electric field at A greater than, equal to, or less than at point D?

## A Conductor in Electrostatic Equilibrium

C. What is the approximate magnitude of the electric field at point C? D. What is the approximate direction of the electric field at point C?
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Exercise

## Capacitance and Capacitors

The charge Q on each electrode is proportional to the potential difference VC between the electrodes:

Q = C VC

What is Q2?

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Charging a Capacitor

C=

0 A
d

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## Dielectrics and Capacitors

Dielectric Constant
With a dielectric between its plates, the capacitance of a parallel-plate capacitor is increased by a factor of the dielectric constant :

C=

0 A
d

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