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Conceptual Physics

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Conceptual Physics

Notes on Chapter 33

Electric Fields & Potential

“May the FORCE be with you”

- All particles have an electric field around them.
A electric field is a kind of aura that extends outward through space.

- To show the effects of the electric field, we use a “small test charge” (which is positive) to determine the direction and strength of the field.

- To show the effects of the electric field, we use a “small test charge” (which is positive) to determine the direction and strength of the field.

- Since the field has magnitude and direction it is
a vector and can

be represented

with vectors.

- These vectors are called Field lines or Lines of force
- (See fig. 33.3 pg. 519)

- Where these force lines are close together, the force is strong. Where the lines are farther apart, the force is weaker.

Electric Shielding:

- Because of mutual repulsion, electrons move as far apart as possible. On a hollow object, the interior will have NO CHARGE OR FIELD. The force on a test charge inside a hollow sphere will cancel to Zero

- On odd shaped objects, the chargeinside is still zero, but not uniform on the outside.

Electric Potential Energy:

- Remember chapter 8 when you lifted an object --- you did work on that object. The same thing applies here.
- A test charge has
Potential Energy by

virtue of its position.

- If the test charge is “let go”, the potential energy will be transferred into kinetic energy of movement.

Electric Potential = Electric potential energy

Charge

1 Volt = 1 Joule_____

1 Coulomb

- Note --- The voltage of a balloon rubbed on your head can be very high. But the electric potential energy is low because of the small amount of charge.

Storage of Energy:

- Electrical energy can be stored in a common device called a capacitor.

- A capacitor is a devise that has two plates separated by a small distance and connected to a battery.
- Note --- this can be a Shocking experience if you are the discharging path !