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Experiment No.

305: Electric Fields and Equipotential Lines

Raagas, Michelle Mae G.
School of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
Mapua Institute of Technology, 658 Muralla St., Intramuros, Manila City, Philippines

The purpose of this experiment is to analyze the
electric fields by nature through mapping the
equipotential lines which is a region wherein all
points have the same energy. This experiment also
guide the students to be familiar with the effect of
conductor to equipotentials and electric field and it
helps to understand their relation.
When a charged object experience an electric force,
it is said that electric field is present.The electrical
field is responsible in producing a force that acts
between two charges. Though we cannot see it with
our eyes, we can determine it by mapping which is
the main goal of this experiment.

Figure 1. materials that are used in this experiment

First thing to do in this experiment is to mark the
conductive paper with the silver ink pen on the
coordinates (0,10) and (0,-10) because it will take
some time drying it.

In this experiment, different materials is used. As is

said earlier, we cannot see the equipotential points
but it can be determine through mapping and there
are equipments that helps for us to easily determine
the equipotential points which will be useful to
attain the objectives of the experiment. Below are
the materials used:


conductive paper
silver ink pen
corkboard surface
push pins
connecting wires
circular template
digital multimeter
Figure 2. marking the conductive paper on
coordinates (0,10) and (0,-10).

When the silver ink is finally dry, attached in on the

cork board using the four push pins and the other
two push pins on the area where the silver mark is

Figure 3. Setup preparing the set-up for the



A. Dipole of unlike charges
Multimeter Reading
Coordinates, (x,y)
1.489 volts
1.88 volts
2.12 volts
(1.4, 6.2)
(2.1, 6.3)


By the use of connecting wires, connect the push

pins and the battery. Then, take the one probe of the
multimeter one of the push pins while the other one
is used to determine the point where the potential
are equal.

Figure 4. Finding/ plotting the equipotential points

After plotting the first equipotential lines, plot again
for another two and adjust 1 cm from the previous
line each. After plotting the points, the electron field
can now be observed.

Graph 1. Dipoles of unlike charges

By the concept of equipotential lines, the flow of
energy of an electric field can now be observed.
Notice that the graph is symmetrical, we can see
that energy can flow in the two points for they
bahave the same.
Notice that the equipotential points are in parabolic
shape instead the expected circle for it is because
there are two charges and it reacts with each other.
There are some errors that occurred during our
experiment. One is the human error which is the
miss-measurement of some of the points. Another
one is the interference of the metal in the
conductive paper. This may have caused our
mapping to be slightly off. Be sure that there are no
other things that is placed on your conductive paper
other than the materials that are needed in this
experiment to avoid such errors.

The objective of this experiment which is to analyze
the nature of electric fields through mapping its
equipotential lines was attained.
In this experiment, the potentials that exist between
charged regions were measured and observe that
they behave the same because the unlike charges
shows symmetry but it differs in direction.
I observed that the flow of electricity is from
positive charge to negative charge. In addition, I
notice that as I move the distance away from the
previous point, the voltage is decreasing.

I would like to express my gratitude to our
professor Sir Ricardo De Leon for guiding us to
have better understanding through out the
experiment, for giving us a good explanation on
how this experiment can actually be done, and for
making this experiment easy to do by teaching us

while performing. Also, I would like to thank my

group mates for being cooperative. Lastly, I would
like to thank the two lab assistant in the physics
department for assisting us what to do and how
to do properly the laboratory equipments.

[1] Gelotin, R. (2015). Identifying the equipotential
surrounding two equally and opositely
charged conductors using digital multimeter.
[2] Warne, F. (2002). Technology and engineering
electric fields and equipotential lines.