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• THE ELECTRIC POTENTIAL
o 1. Introduction
o 2. Equipotential surfaces
o 3. Calculating the Electric Potential
Example problem 3.1 Potential difference between two points
Example: Problem 3.2 Potential due to a Point Charge
Example: Problem 3.3 Potential due to a Point Charge
Example: Problem 3.3 Potential due to a Sphere of charge
4. Electric Potential due to a system of point charges
Example: Problem 4.1
5. Electric Potential due to continuous distribution of charges
Example: Problem 5.1 Electric potential due to a line of charge
Example: Problem 5.2 Electric potential due to a ring of charge
Example: Problem 5.3 Electric potential due to a disk of charge
o 6. The Gradient of the Electric Potential
Example: Problem 5.1
Example: Problem 5.2
o 7. The Potential and Field of a Dipole
o 8. Energy of a system of charges
THE ELECTRIC POTENTIAL
1. Introduction
The electric force is a conservative force. Whenever a system of particles interacts
with each other by means of electric force, that is conservative in nature, we can assign
potential energy to the system. (A force is conservative when the work it does on a particle
depends only on the initial and final position of the particle, and not on the path followed).
The introduction of the potential energy is useful since it allows us to apply conservation of
mechanical energy that simplifies the solution of a large number of problems.
The potential energy U associated with a conservative force F is defined in the
following manner. The change in potential energy of a particle which moves from position i
to f in a force field F is given by
l d F W U U
f
i
if i f
• − · − · −
∫
…….. ……. (1)
where W
if
is the work done by the force during the move from reference position i to f . The
path integral is done along any convenient path connecting i and f. Since the force F is
conservative, the integral in eq.(1) will not depend on the path chosen. If the work W
if
is
positive (force and displacement pointing in the same direction) the potential energy at f
will be smaller than the potential energy at i. If energy is conserved, a decrease in the
potential energy will result in an increase of the kinetic energy. If the work W is negative
(force and displacement pointing in opposite directions) the potential energy at f will be
larger than the potential energy at i. If energy is conserved, an increase in the potential
energy will result in an decrease of the kinetic energy.
In electrostatic problems the potential energy for a charged particle is determined at a point
of an electric field. Here the reference point i is usually chosen at an infinite distance, and
the potential energy at this reference point is taken to be equal to zero. With Ui = 0 the
potential energy at the point f is:
∫
∞
∞
• − · − ·
f
f
l d F W U …… …….
…… (2)
The potential energy of the particle at position f is equal to the negative of the work done
by the force the to bring it from infinity.
To describe the potential energy associated with a charge distribution the concept of the
electric potential (V) is introduced.
The electric potential V at a given position is defined as the potential energy of a test
particle divided by the charge q of this object:
∫
∞
• − · ·
f
f
f
l d F
q q
U
V
1
……. …….. …… (3)
In the above calculation we have assumed that the reference point i is at infinity, and that
the electric potential at that point is equal to 0. Since the force per unit charge( F/q) is the
electric field (see Chapter 1), eq. (3) can be rewritten as
∫
∞
• − ·
f
f
l d E V ……. …….. ……. (4)
i.e. the electric potential at a point of electric field is equal to the negative of the
work done by the electric field while bringing a unit positive test charge from infinity to that
point.
The unit of electric potential is the volt (V), and 1 V = 1 J/C = 1 Nm/C. Equation (4)
shows that as the unit of the electric field we can also use V/m.
The potential difference between two point i and f in principal can be written as
........
∫
∞
• − · − · −
f
if
i f
l d E
q
W
V V …… …… (5)
Electron volt unit of energy
A common used unit for the energy of a particle is the electronvolt (eV) which is
defined as the change in kinetic energy of an electron that travels over a potential
difference of 1 V. The electronvolt can be related to the Joule via eq.(3). Equation (3) shows
that the change in energy of an electron when it crosses over a 1 V potential difference is
equal to 1.6
.
10
19
J and we thus conclude that 1 eV = 1.6 x10
19
J
2. Equipotential surfaces
Equipotential surfaces are defined as surfaces on which each point has the same
electric potential. The component of the electric field parallel to this surface must be zero
since the change in the potential between all points on this surface is equal to zero. This
implies that the direction of the electric field is perpendicular to the equipotential surfaces.
Figure below shows a family of equipotential surfaces associated with an electric
field due to some charge distribution. The work done by
the electric field on a test charge q as it moves from
point I to point II is zero as the end points are situated
on the same equipotential surface. Again the work done
by the electric field on the test charge as it moves from
point III to point IV is also zero because of the same
reason as stated above. However the work done by
electric field to transfer a test charge from point VII to
point VIII is equal to the work done by electric field to
transfer the charge from V to VI as the end points of
these two paths are situated on the same set of equipotential surfaces.
In the following figures the electric fields are represented by solid lines where as
the corresponding equipotential surfaces are represented by dotted lines.
Field lines
Equipotential surfaces
I II
III IV
V VII
VI VIII
Fig 2a : Equipotential
surfaces in uniform field
Fig 2b : Equipotential
surfaces in a field of point
charge
3. Calculating the Electric Potential
Example problem 3.1 Potential difference between two points
Figure below shows two points i and f in an electric field E. the points lie on the
same field line and are separated by d. calculate the potential difference V
f
– V
i
(a) by
moving a test charge along the path parallel to the field direction. (b) by moving a test
charge along the path shown in figure (b)
Figure (3.1a) Figure (3.1b)
(a) For the path shown in figure (a)
E. dl = E dl cos 0
0
= E dl
By definition potential difference between
I and f is
V
f
– V
i
=
Ed dl E dl E l d E
f
i
f
i
f
i
− · − · − · • −
∫ ∫ ∫
(b) For path shown in figre b the charge is
farst moved along ic and then along cf path.
Then the integral
∫
f
i
l d E. is divided into two
part i.e.
∫ ∫ ∫
• + • · •
f
c
c
i
f
i
l d E l d E l d E
For path ‘if’ E. dl = E dl cos 90
0
= 0
and for path ‘fc’ E. dl = E dl cos 45
0
= E dl/√2
then the path integral is equal to
d
E
dl
E
l d E
f
c
f
c
2
2 2
· · •
∫ ∫
= E d
Hence V
f
– V
i
=  Ed
That is, the work required to transfer a charge from one point to another does not
depend on the path followed.
Example problem 3.2 Potential due to a point charge (q)
A charge q
0
is moved from i to f in the vicinity of charge q (see Figure 3.2) The
electric potential at f can be determined using eq. (4) and evaluating the integral along the
path shown in Figure 3.1. Changing the variable from l to r′ equation (4) can therefore be
rewritten as
∫
∞
′ − ·
r
r
r d E V …….. …….. ………. (6)
Here the initial point has been taken at infinity (∞) where potential is considered to be zero.
The magnitude of electric field at the site of the test charge is
E =
2
4
1
r
q
o
′ πε
Substituting this value in the previous equation we get
V
r
=
∫
∞
′
′
−
r
o
r d
r
q
2
4
1
πε
=
∫
∞
−
r
o
r
dr q
2
4πε
i
d dl
f
i c
dl 45
0
d
f
i q
o
r
∞
f
r
q
Figure 3.2 : Path followed by charge q
o
between i
=
r
o
r
q
∞
]
]
]
− −
1
4πε
=
r
q
o
πε 4
1
….. …… ….. ….. (7)
If the charge q is positive, the potential increases with a decreasing distance r. The
electric field points away from a positive charge, and we conclude that the electric field
points from regions with a high electric potential towards regions with a low electric
potential.
Example problem 3.3 Potential due to a sphere of charge
(i) determine electric potential at a point outside the
sphere
(ii) determine electric potential at a point inside the
sphere
Q charge is uniformly distributed over a sphere of radius R.
We know that the electric field outside and inside the sphere of charge are given by
2
4
1
r
Q
E
o
B
∈
·
π
………. …….. ……… (4a)
and r
R
Q
E
o
A
,
`
.

∈
·
3
4π
………. ………. ………. (4b)
Electric potential at any point outside the sphere can be determined just by
evaluating the following integral
∫
∞
′ − ·
r
r
r d E V
Here the initial point has been taken at infinity (∞) where potential is considered
to be zero. Substituting the expression of E from eq (4a) we get
Vr =
∫
∞
′
′
−
r
o
r d
r
Q
2
4
1
πε
=
∫
∞
′
′
−
r
o
r
r d Q
2
4πε
=
r
Q
o
πε 4
1
………. …….. …… (5)
The above expression gives the electric potential at points outside the sphere of charge.The potential at
its surface be found by putting r = R in the above expression, i.e.
R
Q
V
o
R
πε 4
1
·
……… …….. …….. (6)
Now the potential difference between a point inside the sphere and a point on the surface of the
sphere is given by
Vr  VR =
∫
′ −
r
R
r d E ………. ………. ……… (7)
Using the expression of E inside the sphere as given in equation ( 5 ) the above equation can be written
as
Vr  VR =
∫
′ ′
∈
−
r
R o
r d r
R
Q
3
4π
+ + +
+ + + R +
+ + + + + +
+ + + + + +
+ + + + +
+ + + +
or, Vr  VR =
r
R
o
r
R
Q
]
]
]
′
∈
−
2 4
2
3
π
or, Vr  VR =
( )
2 2
3
8
R r
R
Q
o
−
∈
−
π
Putting
R
Q
V
o
R
πε 4
1
·
the above equation can be re written as
( )
( )
2 2
3
2 2
3
3
8
8 4
r R
R
Q
R r
R
Q
R
Q
V
o
o o
r
−
∈
·
−
∈
−
∈
·
π
π π
…… ………. ……. (8)
The above equation gives the electric potential at points inside a uniformly charged
sphere a distance of r from its center.
Potential energy of a test charge in the electric field
From the definition of the electric potential in terms of the potential energy (eq.3) it
is clear that the potential energy of a charge q
o
under the influence of the electric field
generated by charge q is given by
r
q q
V q U
o
o
r o r
πε 4
1
· · …… …. ….. (8)
Example: Problem 3.3
An alpha particle with a kinetic energy of 1.7 x 10
12
J is shot directly towards a
platinum nucleus from a very large distance. What will be the distance of closest approach?
The electric charge of the alpha particle is 2e and that of the platinum nucleus is 78e. Treat
the alpha particle and the nucleus as spherical charge distributions and disregard the
motion of the nucleus.
Solution: The initial mechanical energy (E = U + K) is equal to the kinetic energy of the
alpha particle
E
i
= Ki = 1.7 x 10
12
J …… ….. ……. (9)
Due to the electric repulsion between the alpha particle and the platinum nucleus,
the alpha particle will slow down. At the distance of closest approach the velocity of the
alpha particle is zero, and thus its kinetic energy is equal to zero. The total mechanical
energy at this point is equal to the potential energy of the system
E
f
=
d
q q
U
o
o
f
πε 4
1
·
…… ……. ….. ….. (10)
Where q
o
is the charge of the alpha particle, q is the charge of the platinum nucleus,
and d is the distance of closest approach. Applying conservation of mechanical energy we
obtain
E
f
=
d
q q
U
o
o
f
πε 4
1
· = E
i
= 1.7 x 10
12
J …. ….. ….. (11)
The distance of closest approach can be obtained from eq. (10)
m x
x
e x e
x
x
q q
d
o
o
14
12
9
12
10 1 . 2
10 7 . 1
78 2
10 9
10 7 . 1 4
1
−
− −
· · ·
πε
4 Electric Potential due to a system of point charges
q
1
d
q
2
d o d
q
3
d
q
4
According to superposition principal the electric potential of a system of point
charges is equal to the sum of the potentials created at a given point by each of the
charges. Consequently using formula (7) we can write the following formula for potential
due to a system of point charges
∑ ∑
·
· ·
n
i i
i
o i
i
r
q
V V
1
4
1
πε
…. ….. ….. (11)
Here, r
i
is the radial distance of the point from the charge q
i
.
Example problem 4.1
Four point charges are placed at the corners of a square as shown in
figure below. Calculate the electric potential at its center.
[ here q
1
= 12 nC, q
2
= 24 nC, q
3
=
31 nC , q
4
= 17 nC and d = 1.3 m]
Distance of the corners from the center of the square is r = 1.3/√2 m
Now using equation (11) the potential at the center is obtained as
( )
V
x x x x
x
r
q
r
q
r
q
r
q
r
q
V V
o i i
i
o i
i
56 . 254
2 / 3 . 1
10 7
2 / 3 . 1
10 31
2 / 3 . 1
10 24
2 / 3 . 1
10 12
10 9
4
1
4
1
9 9 9 9
9
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
4
1
·
]
]
]
+ +
−
+ ·
]
]
]
+ + + · · ·
− − − −
·
∑ ∑
πε πε
5. Electric Potential due to continuous distribution of charges
Electric Potential due volume charges
Let us assume that the charges are distributed over finite region of space and that
potential is normalized to zero at infinity. Denoting volume charge density by ρ we obtain
the following expression for potential instead of (11)
∫
·
r
dV
V
o
ρ
πε 4
1
…. ….. ….. (12)
where dV is the volume element over which integration is performed.
Electric Potential due to surface charges
If a charge is located on a surface , the charge distribution is characterized by
surface charge density σ. On the area element dA there is charge σ dA, and hence the
potential at a given point is given by
∫
·
S o
r
dA
V
σ
πε 4
1
…. ….. ….. (13)
where r is the distance between the area element dA and the point at which potential is
calculated.
Example problem 5.1 : Electric potential due to a line of charge
A total charge Q is distributed uniformly along a straight rod of length L. Find the potential
at point P at a distance d from the midpoint of the rod (Figure 2).
The potential at P due to a small segment of
the rod, with length dx and charge dQ, located at
P
d
L/2 dx +L/2
x
dl
R
O x P
Figure : 5.2
the position indicated in Figure 2 is given by
2 2
4
1
d x
dQ
dV
o +
·
πε
…… (14 )
The charge dQ of the segment is
dx
L
Q
dQ · ……. ……. ……… (15 )
Combining equations (14 ) and (15 ) we obtain the following expression for dV:
2 2
4
1
d x
dx
L
Q
dV
o +
·
πε
….. …… ….. (16 )
the total potential at P can be obtained by summing over all small segments. This is
equivalent to integrating eq.() between x =  L/2 and x = L/2.
∫
−
+
·
2 /
2 /
2 2
4
1
L
L o d x
dx
L
Q
V
πε
[ ]
2 /
2 /
2 2
ln
4
1
L
L
o
d x x
L
Q
−
+ + ·
πε
]
]
]
]
+ + −
]
]
]
]
+ +
·
2
2
2
2
4 2
4 2
ln
4
1
d
L L
d
L L
L
Q
o
πε
…… …. ….. (17)
Example: Problem 5.2 Electric potential due to a ring of charge
A thin ring of insulating material has a radius R. An amount of charge Q is uniformly
distribute over it .
Find the potential as a function of the distance on the axis of the ring.
Solution :
We define the xaxis to coincide with the axis of the ring (Figure 5.2). The first step in
the calculation of the total electric potential at point P due to the annulus is to calculate the
electric potential at P due to a small segment of the ring . Consider a segment with length dl
as shown in Figure5.2. The electric potential dV at P generated by this ring is given by
2 2
4
1
R x
dQ
dV
o +
·
πε
….. ….. …. (18)
where dQ is charge on dl length of the ring. If ρ is the linear charge density on the ring
R
Q
π
ρ
2
· ….. ….. ….. ….. (19)
using eq. (25.33) the charge dQ of the ring can be calculates
dQ = ρ dl = dl
R
Q
π 2
…. …. …. (20)
Substituting eq.(20) into eq.(18) we obtain
2 2
2 4
1
R x
dl
R
Q
dV
o +
·
π πε
…. ….. ….. (21)
The total electric potential can be obtained by integrating eq.(21) over the whole ring:
∫ ∫
+
·
+
· dl
R x
R
Q
R x
dl
R
Q
V
o o
2 2 2 2
1
2 4
1
2 4
1
π πε π πε
or
( )
2 2 2 2
4
1
2
1
2 4
1
R x
Q
R
R x
R
Q
V
o o +
·
+
·
πε
π
π πε
…. ……. ……(21)
Example Problem 5.3 Electric potential due to a disk of charge
A disk made of insulator has a radius R and an amount of electric charge Q is
uniformly distributed over it. Find the potential as a function of the distance on the axis of
the disk.
Solution : We define the xaxis to coincide with the axis of the ring (Figure 5.3). The first
step in the calculation of the total electric potential at point P due to the disk is to calculate
the electric potential at P due to a small segment of the disk. Consider a ring with radius r
and width dr as shown in Figure 5.3. The electric potential dV at P generated by this ring is
given by
2 2
4
1
r x
dQ
dV
o +
·
πε
………. …….
….. (22)
where dQ is the charge on the ring. The charge density σ of the disk is equal to
2
R
Q
A
Q
π
σ · · ….. ….. ….. (23)
Figure 5.3. Problem 5.3.
Using eq. (23) the charge dQ of the ring can be calculated as
dr r
R
Q
dr r
R
Q
dA dQ
2 2
2
2 · · · π
π
σ ….. ….. ….. (24)
z =
r
P
R
Substituting eq.(24) into eq.(22) we obtain
2 2
2
2
4
1
r x
dr r
R
Q
dV
o +
·
πε
…. …. …. (25)
The total electric potential can be obtained by integrating eq.(25) over the whole disk
[ ]
( ) x R x
R
Q
r x
R
Q
r x
dr r
R
Q
V
o
R
o
o o
R
o
− + ·
+ ·
+
·
∫
2 2
2
2 2
2
0
2 2
2
2
1
2
4
1
4
1 2
4
1
πε
πε πε πε
….. …. (26)
(a) when P is at a large distance from the center of the disk (x>>R)
then the equation can be written as
( )
,
`
.

− + · x R x
R
Q
V
o
2
1
2 2
2
2
1
πε
or V
,
`
.

−
,
`
.

+ · 1 1
2
1
2
1
2
2
2
x
R
R
Qx
o
πε
,
`
.

−
,
`
.

+ + · 1 .......
2
1
1
2
1
2
2
2
x
R
R
Qx
o
πε
….. (27)
Neglecting the higher order terms of the binomial ` series we can write
V
x
Q
x
R
R
Qx
o o
πε πε 4
1
2
1
2
1
2
2
2
·
,
`
.

·
( point charge)
(b) at the center of the disk
at the center of the disk x =0. so the electric potential is given by
( ) ( )
R
Q
R
R
Q
x R x
R
Q
V
o o o
πε πε πε 2
1
2
1
2
1
2
2
1
2 2
2
· ·
,
`
.

− + ·
….. ….. .. (28)
6. The Gradient of the Electric Potential
The electric potential V is related to the electric field E. If the electric field E is
known, the electric potential V can be obtained using eq.(4), and viceversa. In this section
we will discuss how the electric field E can be obtained if the electric potential is known.
Let us consider two equipotential surface differing in potential by dV. E is perpendicular to
the surfaces at any point. . a test charge q
0
is moved from point 1 to point 2 situated on
surface 1 and 2 respectively along path dl the work done by the electric field during the
move is then
dW = q
o
E. dl = q
o
E dl cosθ
again in terms of potential difference dV the work done is
dW = q
o
dV
so that we can write
dW = q
o
E dl cosθ = q
o
dV
or, (E cosθ) dl =  dV
or E cosθ =
l
V
∂
∂
−
or E
l
=
l
V
∂
∂
− ….. ……. ….. (29)
here E
l
the component of E along l axis.
If the direction of the displacement is chosen to coincide with the xaxis, eq.(29) becomes
x
V
E
x
∂
∂
− · ……. ……. ….. (30)
Similarly the y an z component of e can by given by
y
V
Ey
∂
∂
− ·
and
z
V
E
z
∂
∂
− ·
The total electric field E can be obtained from the electric potential V by combining
equations (29), (30), and (31):
…… …….. ……. (32)
Equation (32) is usually written in the following form
…….. ……… ……… (33)
(25.23)
Example: Problem 6.1
In some region of space, the electric potential is the following function of x, y, and z:
where the potential is measured in volts and the distances in meters. Find the electric field
at the points x = 2 m, y = 2 m.
The x, y and z components of the electric field E can be obtained from the gradient of the
potential V
and
Evaluating equations (a), (b), and (c) at x = 2 m and y = 2 m gives
Thus
7. The Potential and Field of a Dipole
Figure 7 shows an electric dipole located along the zaxis. It consists of two charges + Q and
 Q, separated by a distance L. The electric potential at point P can be found by summing
the potentials generated by each of the two charges:
…….. …… ….. (34)
Figure 7.1. The electric dipole.
If the point P is far away from the dipole (r >> L) we can make the approximation that r
1
and r
2
are parallel. In this case
. …….. ….. ….. (35)
and
………. ……. …….. (36)
The electric potential at P can now be rewritten as
….. ….. ……. (37)
Where p is the dipole moment of the charge distribution.
8. Electric potential energy of a system of point charges
The electric potential energy of a system of point charges is equal to the negative of
work done by electric field to assemble the system of charges from infinite separation. Let
us consider two charges q
1
and q
2
are initially separated by a distance of r
i
. If their
separation is changed to r
f
the work done by electric field is
l d F W
f
i
if
• ·
∫
here electric force between the charges is
r
r
q q
F
o
ˆ
4
1
2
2 1
πε
·
and
r dr l d ˆ ·
where dr is the element f radius vector. Then the work done by electric field can be
evaluated as
]
]
]
]
− − ·
]
]
]
− · ·
∫
i f o
r
r o
f
i o
if
r r
q q
r
q q
dr
r
q q
W
f
i
1 1
4
1
4 4
1
2 1 2 1
2
2 1
πε πε πε
By definition the potential energy at final configuration is
12
2 1
12
1
4 r
q q
W U
o
πε
· · − · (where r
f
= r
12
and r
i
= ∞)
If a third charge is brought in the scenario then the potential energy is calculated by
bringing the charges one by one and calculating the work done by the electric force and
taking summation in the following manner:
First bring charge q
1
which requires no work as electric field is zero. Then bring
charge q
2
in the field of q
1
. The work done by the electric force is
12
2 1
12
1
4 r
q q
W
o
πε
− ·
now bring charge q
3
in the field of q
1
and q
2
. The work done by the fields of these charges
are
13
3 1
13
1
4 r
q q
W
o
πε
− ·
and
23
3 2
23
1
4 r
q q
W
o
πε
− ·
respectively
Then the potential energy of the configuration f these three charges is
( )
,
`
.

+ + · + + − ·
23
3 2
13
3 1
12
2 1
23 13 12
4
1
r
q q
r
q q
r
q q
W W W U
o
πε
If there are n charges the general expression for potential energy of the system of charges
is
) ( ;
4
1
2
1
1 1
i j
r
q q
U
n
i
n
j ij
j i
o
≠
,
`
.

·
∑∑
· ·
πε
here the factor ½ has been included to compensate for each pair of charges counted twice.
Problem: Exercise from Electric Potential and potential energy
1 (a) What is the potential at a distance of r = 2.12 x 10
10
m from the nucleus of an
hydrogen atom?
(b) What is the electric potential energy of an electron in electron volt at the said
point?
1.
2. When an electron moves from A to B along and electric field line in the figure below, the
electric field does 3.94 x 10
19
J of work on it. What are the electric potential differences
(a) V
A
 V
B
, (b) V
C
V
A
, and (c) V
C
 V
B
?
3. Two infinite lines of charge are parallel to and in the same plane with the z – axis. One,
of charge per unit length + λ , is a distance a to the right of this axis. The other, of charge
per unit length  λ , is a distance a to the left of this axis. Sketch some of the equi
potential surfaces due to this arrangement.
4. Consider a point charge q = +1.0
µ
C, point A at a distance d
1
= 2.0m from q, and point
B at a distance d
2
= 1.0m (a) If these points are diametrically opposite each other, as in
Fig:a, what is the electric potential difference V
A
– V
B
? (b) What is the electric potential
difference if point A and B are located as in Fig: b
5. Two large parallel conducting plates are 12 cm apart and have charges of equal
magnitude and opposite sign on their facing surfaces. An electric force of 3.5 x 10
15
N
acts on an electron placed anywhere in between the plates (uniform field). (a) Find the
electric field at the position of the electron. (b) What is the potential difference between
the plates?
6. An infinite nonconducting sheet has a surface charge density σ = 10 µ C / m
2
on one
side. How far apart are two equipotential surfaces whose potential differ by 50 V?
7. A charge q is distributed uniformly throughout a spherical volume of radius R. (a)
Setting V = 0 at infinity, Show that the potential at a distance r from the center , where r
< R, is given by
V = q(3R
2
 r
2
)/8π∈
o
R
3
8. A spherical drop of water carrying a charge of 30 pC has a potential of 500V at its
surface (with V=0 at infinity). (a) What is the radius of the drop? (b) If two such drops of
same charge and radius combine to form a single spherical drop, what is the potential at
the surface of the new drop?
9. Two metal spheres are 3 cm in radius and carry charges of + 1.0
8
10
−
× C and 3.0
8
10
−
×
C respectively, assumed to be uniformly distributed. If their centres are 2 m apart,
calculate (a) the potential of the point halfway between their centres and (b) the potential
on each sphere.
+
B d
2
d
1
A
q
B
d
2
q
d
1
A
Fig a
A
B C
Fig b
r
q a +q a +q P
10. For the following charge configuration show that V(r) for points on the vertical axis,
assuming r > > a, is given by
,
`
.

+ ·
2
0
2
4
1
r
qa
r
q
V
πε
. Is this an expected result?
11. In a certain situation, the electric potential varies along varies along the x axis as shown
in the graph below. Determine the x component of electric field for the interval ab and
bc.
12. What is the net potential at point P due to four point charges , if V= 0 at infinity?
+5q
d
5q 5q
P
d
+5q
13. Following figure shows an electric dipole in a plane with its center at the origin of co
ordinate system. What is the work require to transfer a unit positive charge from point P
to Q. Q
+q
P
q
V(x) in volt65bc4321da12345678x in m
14. Figure below shows a ring of outer radius R and inner radius r = 0.2R ; the ring has a
uniform surface charge density σ. With V= 0 at infinity, find an expression fo the
electric potential at a point p on the central axis of the ring, at a distance z = 2.0 R
from the center of the ring.
P
σ
R
15. The potential at an axial point for a charged disk was shown to be
( ) r r a V − + ·
2 2
0
2ε
σ
. From this result show that E for axial points is given by
,
`
.

+
− ·
2 2
0
1
2
r a
r
E
ε
σ
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