Question
Wed June 01, 2011 By: Vandana Menon
 

What is meant by potential difference? how is it created ?

Expert Reply
Thu June 02, 2011

Consider the task of moving a positive test charge within a uniform electric field from location A to location B as shown . In moving the charge against the electric field from location A to location B, work will have to be done on the charge by an external force. The work done on the charge changes its potential energy to a higher value; and the amount of work that is done is equal to the change in the potential energy. As a result of this change in potential energy, there is also a difference in electric potential between locations A and B. This difference in electric potential is represented by the symbol V and is formally referred to as the electric potential difference. By definition, the electric potential difference is the difference in electric potential (V) between the final and the initial location when work is done upon a charge to change its potential energy. In equation form, the electric potential difference is

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