## Electrostatic Potential and Electrostatic Potential Energy: Introduction

There will always be a small amount of energy in the ball, no matter how high it is. If you drop a ball from point A to point B, you'll see that it falls from a higher gravitational potential to a lower one, resulting in a difference in these two energies. This concept is similar to the difference in electrical potential. At the end of this article, one will be able to differentiate between electrostatic potential and electrostatic potential energy, represent electrostatic potential and electrostatic potential energy, etc.

## What is Electrostatic Potential?

Electrostatic Potential (also known as Electric Potential and Electric Field Potential) is the amount of work required to transport a unit positive charge from one initial point to any defined place within a field without causing any acceleration.

Typically, the initial or starting point is Earth or an infinite point.

Here are a few things to remember regarding electric potential.

V represents electrostatic potential, which is a scalar quantity.

Volts are used to measure electrostatic potential.

## Electrostatic Potential Formula:

The electric potential formula is the product of a particle's charge and the electric potential.

Potential energy = (particle charge) (electric potential)

U = q × V

U = qV

## Electrostatic Potential Energy Formula:

The potential energy of a charge in an electric field is measured by the work done in transporting the charge from infinity to that location against the electric field. The electric potential energy of a system is: if two charges, q1 and q2, are separated by a distance d.

$U = \dfrac{1}{4\pi \epsilon_0} × \dfrac{q_1q_2}{d}$

The system's potential energy increases when two like charges (two protons or two electrons) are brought together. When two opposite charges, such as a proton and an electron, are brought together, the system's electric potential energy diminishes.

## What Is Electrostatic Potential Energy?

The electric potential energy of any given charge or system of charges is the total work done by an external agent to move the charge or system of charges from infinity to the current configuration without acceleration.

Electric potential energy is defined as the entire potential energy that a unit charge will have if it is positioned everywhere in space.

## Difference Between Electrostatic Potential and Electrostatic Potential Energy

The basic difference between electrostatic potential and electrostatic potential energy is that the Electrostatic potential at a point in an electric field is the amount of work done to bring the unit positive charge from infinity to that point, whereas electrostatic potential energy is the energy required to move a charge against the electric field.

## Summary

Electric potential is the total energy required to move electrical charges from a reference point to a specific location in an electromagnetic field. It represents the energy density per unit charge without affecting the field being studied. The test charge should not accelerate to avoid gaining kinetic energy or emitting radiation. The electric potential at the reference point is defined as zero. The unit of charge measures the effort needed to transport a charge in an electromagnetic field. The "potential differential" is the difference in electric potential. Similar to gravitational potential energy, an artificial zero exists. Distinction should be made between electrostatic potential and electrostatic potential energy.

## FAQs on Difference Between Electrostatic Potential and Electrostatic Potential Energy for JEE Main 2025

1. What is electrostatic potential?

The difference in potential energy per unit charge between two points in an electric field is defined as the electric potential or voltage. When we discussed the electric field, we chose a position and then questioned what the electric force would happen if we placed an imaginary positively charged particle there.

To determine the electrical potential at a given location, we ask how much the electrical potential energy of a hypothetical positively charged particle would change if it were transported there. Just like when we discussed the electric field, we don't have to actually place a positively charged particle at our chosen location to determine how much electrical potential energy it has.

We know that the amount of charge we push or pull (and whether it is positive or negative) affects the electrical potential energy if we move the particle to a specific location.

2. What is electrostatic potential energy?

The amount of work done against the electrostatic force of interaction is referred to as electric potential energy or electrostatic potential energy.

Electrostatic fields are conservative force fields that follow the inverse square law.

Work must be done on a charged particle (q) when it is shifted from point A to point B in the presence of an electric field. The work done to displace the charge is stored as potential energy, which is known as electric potential energy or electrostatic potential energy.

Thus, work done against the electrostatic force of interaction equals an increase in the system's potential energy. F.dr = dU, for example.

F represents electrostatic force, dr represents displacement vector, and dU represents potential energy change.

3. Differentiate between electrostatic potential and electrostatic potential energy and list some examples of electrostatic potential energy.

The term "electric potential energy" refers to potential energy in systems with time-varying electric fields, whereas "electrostatic potential energy" refers to potential energy in systems with time-invariant electric fields.

Some examples of electrostatic potential energy are-

Before turning on the car's headlights.

Television before it turned on

A turned-off washing machine

Computer before it turned on

Vacuum cleaner when it is turned off

A radio tower, while it is not working

Air conditioning system before turned on

Electric stove when it is turned off

Electric generator after turning on

Refrigerator when it is turned off

Micro oven when it is turned off

Wireless headphones before turning on

4. What happens if the battery is connected to the circuit and Is it true that electric potential is always positive?

When the battery is connected to the circuit, a potential difference is formed at the conductor's ends. The potential difference causes an electric field to build across the conductor, and therefore current begins to flow from high potential to low potential.

The electric potential between two charges of the same sort (either positive or negative) is positive. The electric potential between charges of different kinds is negative.

5. What are electrostatic potential energy units?

There are two popular methods for calculating a system's electric potential energy. Volts, V, and electron volts, eV, are the most often used electric potential energy units. Joules, a measure of work, per Coulombs, a measure of electric charge, are the base units of volts, and they can be expressed as J/C, where J stands for Joules and C stands for Coulombs.

An electron volt is the amount of energy gained by an electron when the electric potential of a system is increased by one volt, and electron volts are a frequent unit of energy measurement in nuclear and particle physics.