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Difference Between Potential Difference and Work Done for JEE Main 2025

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Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Potential Difference and Work Done: Introduction

The scalar physical quantity known as electric potential, denoted by V, describes the potential energy of a unit electric charge in an electrostatic field.

Va = Ua/q


In an electric field, it is the amount of work energy required to move a unit of electric charge from one point to another.Although understanding electrical phenomena can benefit from the idea of electric potential, only variations in potential energy are quantifiable. Using a voltmeter, these variations in potential energy are measured.


Category:

JEE Main Difference Between

Content-Type:

Text, Images, Videos and PDF

Exam:

JEE Main

Topic Name:

Difference Between Potential Difference And Work Done

Academic Session:

2025

Medium:

English Medium

Subject:

Chemistry

Available Material:

Chapter-wise Difference Between Topics



What is Potential Difference?

The difference in charge carries energy between two points in a circuit is known as the potential difference.


  • Volt (V) is the unit used to express potential difference.  If it takes 1 joule of work to move 1 coulomb of charge from one point to the other, the potential difference between two points is said to be 1 volt.

  • Voltage measured: Voltage is another name for potential difference (p.d.), which is expressed in volts (V). When charge carriers move through electrical components in a circuit, energy is transferred to those parts. To measure potential difference (also known as voltage), we use a voltmeter.

  • Formula for Potential Differences: V = I x R

  • Volt is the measurement unit for potential difference, and a voltmeter is the tool used to measure potential difference. The positive terminal of the voltmeter should be connected to the positive terminal of the cell, and the negative terminal should be connected to the negative terminal of the cell when connecting the voltmeter to the circuit.


What is Work Done?

If and only if a force has been applied to a body and the body has been propelled to a specific displacement as a result of the applied force, the action will be referred to as "work done."


  • Because of our practical experience, we will declare work completed under a variety of circumstances. However, in the world of physics, those particular actions might not be referred to as work because they do not meet the requirements for completing work, such as applying force and displacement. 

  • It is significant to remember that there won't be any work done if there is no displacement. When a very strong force is applied to an object, even though the force is very strong, the object does not move or otherwise change its position. Physics states that no work is done in such an instance.

  • When we apply force "F" to a block, the body moves with some acceleration or, additionally, its speed increases or decreases depending on the direction of the force. The system's kinetic energy changes as speed increases or decreases. Since we are aware that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it must be changed into another form. This perspective refers to it as completed work. When negative energy is finished, the energy decreases, and when positive energy is finished, the energy rises. Now that we understand how to gauge work done.


Differentiate Between Potential Difference and Work Done :

S No.

Potential Difference

Work Done

1.

The difference in charge carries energy between two points in a circuit is known as the potential difference.


If and only if a force has been applied to a body and the body has been propelled to a specific displacement as a result of the applied force, the action will be referred to as "work done."


2.

Volt (V) is the unit used to express potential difference. 

Joule (J) is the unit to express work done.

3.

Formula for Potential Differences:

 V = I x R


Formula for Work Done

W = F . d


Conclusion:

The equation V = W / Q illustrates the connection between potential difference and work accomplished. This formula reveals that the work performed is directly proportional to the distance traveled and inversely proportional to the potential difference. Understanding this relationship is crucial for studying electricity and resolving problems related to electric circuits. By grasping the significance of this equation, individuals can gain insights into how potential difference impacts the amount of work done, allowing them to analyze and address various electrical challenges effectively.

FAQs on Difference Between Potential Difference and Work Done for JEE Main 2025

1. State the relation between potential difference, work done and charge moved.

The relationship between potential difference, work completed, and charge moved is established above and is given by: 

Potential Difference = work done / charge moved. ----------------------- (1)

Let's derive the equation mentioned above now.

 

  • The formula for the relationship between potential difference, work done, and charge moved is simple to find if we define 1 Volt of potential difference. 

  • When one joule of work is expended to move one coulomb of electricity from one point to another, where another charge is located, a voltage difference of one volt is created between the two charges. 1 coulomb / 1 joule equals 1 volt. 

  • Work completed or moved charges could make a difference.

2. When does "Work Done" equal "Zero"?

There are several circumstances where there is no work done. Let's examine each one in turn:


  • No displacement equals no work done, as we have already read in this article. No matter how much force is applied, there will be no work done if the body does not move as a result.

  • You might encounter situations where the force applied is zero in addition to when the displacement is zero. Suppose, for instance, that there is no external force acting on an ice cube as it floats freely on another slick surface. Since there is no force in this situation, there will be no work done.

  • The work completed will be zero when the direction of the applied force is perpendicular to the direction of the displacement. As we all know, W = F. d = F d cos, where the angle will be 90 degrees, making W = 0 as the value of cos 90 = 0, the angle between the direction of the force and displacement in this case is 90 degrees.

3. What happens when there is a connection between the battery and the circuit?

A potential difference is created between the ends of a conducting wire when it is connected to the battery terminals. An electric field is created throughout the conductor as a result of this potential difference.It draws the electrons towards the positive terminal of the battery, where they begin to move in that direction.

4. What is positive and negative work done?

  • Positive Work Done:

When the direction of the applied force and the direction of the displacement the object makes as a result of the applied force are the same, the work is considered to be positive. Think about a ball dropping towards the ground as an illustration. Gravity is causing the ball to fall in this instance. It is clear that the ball is falling in the same direction as the gravitational pull of the earth.


  • Negative Work Done:

when the direction of the applied force is the opposite of the direction in which the object is being displaced. Think about the same ball being thrown upwards, for instance. In that scenario, the ball is moving upward in opposition to the downward-pointing direction of acceleration.

5. What do you understand about electric potential?

The charge begins to flow from one conductor to another when two charged bodies come into contact. The electric potential is the electrical condition that controls the transfer of charge from one conductor to another when they are in contact. In the cases of water, heat, and fluids, level, temperature, and pressure are analogous to electric potential. Earth is a conductor with an infinite capacity for both receiving and giving electrical current without changing its potential.


  • Its potential is assumed to be zero. The positively charged conductor therefore has a higher potential for positive energy than the earth. The negative potential of a negatively charged conductor is less than that of the earth.

  • Electric potential V at point P is equal to W/Q when W joules of work are used to move the test charge Q coulomb from infinity to point P.

  • W=QV is the amount of work required to move a charge Q from infinity to a point P where the electric potential is V.