# Electric potential energy, or electrostatic potential energy, is a potential energy (measured in joules) that results from conservative Coulomb

forces and is associated with the configuration of a particular set of point charges within a defined system. Not to be confused with the term electric potential (measured in volts), the term "electric potential energy" is used to describe the potential energy in systems with electric fields that change with time (time variant), while the term "electrostatic potential energy" is used to describe the potential energy in systems with electric fields that do not change with time (time invariant). Electric Potential In classical electromagnetism, the electric potential (a scalar quantity denoted by φ, φE or V and also called the electric field potential or the electrostatic potential) at a point is equal to the electric potential energy (measured in joules) of a charged particle at that location divided by the charge (measured in coulombs) of the particle. The electric potential is independent of the test particle's charge - it is determined by the electric field alone. The electric potential can be calculated at a point in either a static (time-invariant) electric field or in a dynamic (varying with time) electric field at a specific time, and has the units of joules per coulomb, or volts. There is also a generalized electric scalar potential that is used in electrodynamics when time-varying electromagnetic fields are present. This generalized electric potential cannot be simply interpreted as the ratio of potential energy to charge, however. Introduction Objects may possess a property known as an electric charge. An electric field exerts a force on charged objects, accelerating them in the direction of the force, in either the same or the opposite direction of the electric field. If the charged object has a positive charge, the force and acceleration will be in the direction of the field. This force has the same direction as the electric field vector, and its magnitude is given by the size of the charge multiplied with the magnitude of the electric field. Classical mechanics explores the concepts such as force, energy, potential etc. in more detail. Force and potential energy are directly related. As an object moves in the direction that the force accelerates it, its potential energy decreases. For example, the gravitational potential energy of a cannonball at the top of a hill is greater than at the base of the hill. As the object falls, that potential energy decreases and is translated to motion, or inertial (kinetic) energy. For certain forces, it is possible to define the "potential" of a field such that the potential energy of an object due to a field is dependent only on the position of the object with respect to the field. Those forces must affect objects depending only on the intrinsic properties of the object and the position of the object, and obey certain other mathematical rules. Two such forces are the gravitational force (gravity) and the electric force in the absence of time-varying magnetic fields. The potential of an electric field is called the electric potential. The synonymous term "electrostatic potential" is also in common use.

1 farad is 1 coulomb per volt. capacitance is the ability of a capacitor to store energy in an electric field. capacitance is directly proportional to the surface area of the conductor plates and inversely proportional to the separation distance between the plates. A common form of energy storage device is a parallel-plate capacitor. so that the two kinds of potential are mixed under Lorentz transformations. Starting with an uncharged capacitance (q = 0) and moving charge from one plate to the other until the plates have charge +Q and −Q requires the work W: Dielectric A dielectric is an electrical insulator that can be polarized by an applied electric field. Moving a small element of charge dq from one plate to the other against the potential difference V = q/C requires the work dW: where W is the work measured in joules. The energy (measured in joules) stored in a capacitor is equal to the work done to charge it. as in a conductor. electric charges do not flow through the material. "dielectric" is typically used to describe materials with a high polarizability. The latter is expressed by a number called the dielectric constant. This creates an internal electric field which reduces the overall field within the dielectric itself.The electric potential and the magnetic vector potential together form a four vector. but only slightly shift from their average equilibrium positions causing dielectric polarization. those molecules not only become polarized. Capacitance is also a measure of the amount of electric potential energy stored (or separated) for a given electric potential. yet notable example of a dielectric is the electrically insulating material between the metallic . then the capacitance is given by The SI unit of capacitance is the farad. q is the charge measured in coulombs and C is the capacitance. measured in farads.[1] Although the term "insulator" implies low electrical conduction. A common. When a dielectric is placed in an electric field. holding a charge +q on one plate and −q on the other. and V gives the voltage between the plates. If the charges on the plates are +q and −q. Consider a capacitor of capacitance C. Capacitance In electromagnetism and electronics.[1] If a dielectric is composed of weakly bonded molecules. but also reorient so that their symmetry axis aligns to the field. positive charges are displaced toward the field and negative charges shift in the opposite direction. Because of dielectric polarization. In a parallel plate capacitor. The energy stored in a capacitor is found by integrating this equation.

[1] The study of dielectric properties is concerned with the storage and dissipation of electric and magnetic energy in materials. optics. The polarization of the dielectric by the applied electric field increases the capacitor's surface charge. . and solid-state physics.[2] It is important to explain various phenomena in electronics.plates of a capacitor. The term "dielectric" was coined by William Whewell (from "dia-electric") in response to a request from Michael Faraday.