Energy & Green Tech

Using the 'shadow effect' to generate electricity

Shadows are often associated with darkness and uncertainty. Now, researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) are giving shadows a positive spin by demonstrating a way to harness this common but often overlooked ...

Electronics & Semiconductors

Surrey unveils fast-charging super-capacitor technology

Experts from the University of Surrey believe their dream of clean energy storage is a step closer after they unveiled their ground-breaking super-capacitor technology that is able to store and deliver electricity at high ...

Energy & Green Tech

Tandem solar cell world record: New branch in the NREL chart

A new world-record-setting solar cell developed by HZB combines the semiconductors perovskite and CIGS to a monolithic 'two-terminal' tandem cell. Due to the thin-film technologies used, such tandem cells survive much longer ...

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Electric potential energy

Electric potential energy (also known as "electrostatic potential energy") is a potential energy associated with the conservative Coulomb forces within a defined system of point charges. The term "electrostatic potential energy" is preferred here because it seems less likely to be misunderstood. The reference zero is usually taken to be a state in which the individual point charges are very well separated ("are at infinite separation") and are at rest. :§25-1 The electrostatic potential energy of the system (UE), relative to this zero, is equal to the total work W that must be done by a hypothetical external agent in order to bring the charges slowly, one by one, from infinite separation to the desired system configuration:

In this process the external agent is deemed to provide or absorb any relevant work, and the point charge being slowly moved gains no kinetic energy.

Sometimes people refer to the potential energy of a charge in an electrostatic field. This actually refers to the potential energy of the system containing the charge and the other charges that created the electrostatic field.:§25-1

To calculate the work required to bring a point charge into the vicinity of other (stationary) point charges, it is sufficient to know only (a) the total field generated by the other charges and (b) the charge of the point charge being moved. The field due to the charge being moved and the values of the other charges do not need to be known. Nonetheless, in many circumstances it is mathematically easier to add up all the pairwise potential energies (as below).

It is important to understand that electrostatics is a 18th-19th-century theory of hypothetical entities called "point charges". Electrostatics is categorically not a complete theory of the charged physical particles that make up the physical world, and are subject to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and other laws of quantum mechanics.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA