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5.

1 Electric Potential Dierence


Kari Eloranta 2014
Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio International Baccalaureate

January 16, 2014

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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5.1 Electric Potential Dierence


A battery is an electrical device that converts chemical energy into electric energy. A battery has two metallic connectors called terminals. There is an electric potential dierence between the terminals. Electric Potential Dierence Electric potential dierence is the electric potential energy dierence per unit charge between two points in an electric eld. The unit of electric potential is [E ]/[Q ] = J C1 = 1 V (joule/coulomb=volt), according to italian physicist Alessandro Volta (1745 1827). For example, in a 9 V battery the potential dierence across the unplugged terminals is 9 V.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 2 / 16

5.1 Electric Potential Dierence V and Electric Current I


The terminals are called positive and negative based on their electrical properties. The positive (+) terminal is at higher electric potential with respect to the negative () terminal. When the terminals of a battery are connected to an electric circuit, an electric current starts owing in the circuit and inside the battery. The battery sustains an electric potential dierence across the terminals. As a result, an electric eld is established in the wires, and other circuit elements, such as resistors. The eld exerts an electric force on the electrons and protons in a metallic wire. However, only free electrons can move in the wire. Electric force tries to accelerate the electrons, and the interactions between the electrons and the metallic lattice oppose to motion. As a result, a steady electric current ows in the wire.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 3 / 16

5.1 Electric Current I

Electric Current Electric potential dierence is the electric potential energy dierence per unit charge between two points in an electric eld. By denition, the direction of electric current is from the higher potential to the lower (the direction of movement of a positive charge in an electric eld).

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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5.1 Voltmeter and ammeter in a DC-circuit


V

Figure : Two equivalent circuit diagrams for the study of (I , V ) properties of a lamp.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 5 / 16

5.2 Electric Circuits: Electromotive Force (emf)

R R int

I
Figure : The diagram represents the emf and internal resistance Rint of a battery.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 6 / 16

5.2 Emf and Internal Resistance


The electric potential dierence across the terminals of a battery in an open circuit is called the electromotive force of the battery (emf). Electromotive Force E (emf) Electromotive force of a battery is the total energy per unit charge made available by the chemical reactions in the battery.
E] The unit of emf is [] = [V ] = [ [q ] = 1 V.

Since in reality emf it is not a force, but energy per unit charge, we call it by its abbreviation emf. All real batteries have some internal resistance which we denote by R int .

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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5.2 Potential Dierence V Across the Terminals


When a battery is connected to an electric circuit, a constant electric current ows through the circuit and the battery. When an electric current ows in the circuit, the electric potential dierence across the terminals of a battery drops by the amount of R int I , because of the potential drop due to the internal resistance of the battery. Potential Dierence V Across the Terminals of Battery When an electric current I ows through a battery that has an emf and internal resistance R int , the potential dierence V across the terminals of the battery is V = R int I . (1) When no current ows in the circuit, the potential dierence V across the terminals equals the emf , that is, V = .
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 8 / 16

DC Circuit Electric Potential Graphs


Because an ideal wire does not have resistance, it does not consume energy. As a result, the electric potential does not change along an ideal wire. An ideal battery does not have internal resistance. As a result, it only supplies energy to the circuit, it does not consume energy at all. A real wire dissipates energy. Resistance of a Wire The resistance of wire of length l and cross-sectional area A is
R = l A

(2)

where is the resistivity of the material the wire is made of.

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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6.2 Electric Field Lines

A static electric charge creates an electric eld around it. Point charge is a small electrically charged object such as a proton or electron, or any charged object for which the size of the object is small compared to its distance to other objects. The electric eld is illustrated by electric eld lines. The density ,of electric eld lines illustrate the strength of the eld. By denition the direction of eld lines is away from positive charge and towards the negative.

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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6.2 Electric Field Strength E


The electric eld created by a positive point charge.
2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 Figure : A positive point charge creates an outward radial electric eld.
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9.3 Electric Field, Potential and Energy


Gravitational and electric elds are conservative elds, where work done by the eld on the object, as the object moves from point A to B, depends only on the location of the points, not on the path along which the object moves from point A to B. That is, the work done in moving a point charge between two points in an electric eld is independent of the path taken. Consider a positive test charge Q test , initially innitely far away from a point charge Q . The change in the electric potential energy E pot of the eld is dened as the negative of the work done W by the eld on the object, that is, W = E pot. By using integral calculus, it is possible to show that the change in test where electric potential energy is E pot = k QQ r 9 2 2 k = 8.99 10 N m C , and r is the distance to the point charge. If we choose electric potential energy to be zero at innity, we have an equation for electric potential energy.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 12 / 16

9.3 Electric Potential Energy


Electric Potential Energy E pot If the electric potential energy innitely far away from a point charge q is zero, the electric potential energy at distance r from the point charge q is
E pot = k qQ test r

(3)

where k = 8.99 109 N m2 C2 is the electric constant in vacuum. Electric potential energy is a property of the electric eld created by the interacting charges q and Q test .

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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9.3 Electric Potential


Electric Potential Electric potential is the work done per unit charge in bringing a positive test charge Q test to distance r from a point charge q . Electric Potential V If the electric potential innitely far away from a point charge q is zero, the electric potential at distance r from the point charge is
V= E pot Q test =k q r

(4)

where k = 8.99 109 N m2 C2 is the electric constant in vacuum. Electric potential is a property of the electric eld created by the point charge q .
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 14 / 16

9.3 Change in Electric Potential


Electric Potential Dierence Electric potential dierence is electric potential energy dierence per unit charge between two points in an electric eld. Electric Potential Dierence V The electric potential dierence in an electric eld is
V = E pot q

(5)

where E pot is the change in electric potential energy, and q is the electric charge of the object placed in the electric eld. The electric potential dierence depends only on the properties of the electric eld.
Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence January 16, 2014 15 / 16

9.3 Electric Potential and Electric Field


Relation Between Electric Potential and Electric Field Strength The magnitude of electric eld strength is
E= V x

(6)

where V is the change in electric potential, and x is the distance. If the electric potential does not change between the points in comparison, the electric eld is zero. The greater the density of equipotential lines in the distance x , the greater the electric eld strength.

Kari Eloranta 2014 (Jyvskyln Lyseon lukio 5.1 Electric International Potential Baccalaureate) Dierence

January 16, 2014

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