# What is the difference between electric potential and electric potential energy?

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## Solution 1

Electric potential = Voltage. It is the amount of work needed to move a point charge from one location to another. unit is Joules/Coulomb = V

Electric potential energy is the energy the body has due to it's position in an electric field ( the capacity for doing work which arises from position or configuration if you want to get specific). I.e if you have say, an alpha particle (2+ charge) and you move it near another positive charge, it will want to deflect. If you push it closer to the positive charge, it will want to deflect more. The unit of electrical potential energy unit is the Joule.

Hyperphysics is a great resource for this stuff http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/electric/elepe.html

## Solution 2

An electric potential (also called the electric field potential or the electrostatic potential) is the amount of work needed to move a unit positive charge from a reference point to a specific point inside the field without producing any acceleration. Typically, the reference point is Earth or a point at Infinity, although any point beyond the influence of the electric field charge can be used.

According to theoretical electromagnetics, electric potential is a scalar quantity denoted by V, equal to the electric potential energy of any charged particle at any location (measured in joules) divided by the charge of that particle (measured in coulombs). By dividing out the charge on the particle a remainder is obtained that is a property of the electric field itself.

Electric potential energy, or electrostatic potential energy, is a potential energy (measured in joules) that results from conservative Coulomb forces and is associated with the configuration of a particular set of point charges within a defined system. An object may have electric potential energy by virtue of two key elements: its own electric charge and its relative position to other electrically charged objects.

The term "electric potential energy" is used to describe the potential energy in systems with time-variant electric fields, while the term "electrostatic potential energy" is used to describe the potential energy in systems with time-invariant electric fields.

Also look up:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential_energy

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_potential

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### Tanesh Gupta

Updated on May 25, 2020

• I am really confused between electric potential and electric potential energy. Please help me in understanding the two terms and also show the differences between them.

• Could you explain what it is you think you understand about them, so that we might better direct you?
• @KyleKanos He has shown no effort himself. These are easy terms and there are Wikipedia articles on these.
• • Can you summarise some differences between them...
• I don't understand your question. I just told you what they were?
• Ok leave it. I have another question to ask that do positive charge move in a conductor?
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