Electrostatic Potential Energy of a System of Charges

Chapter-2|Electrostatic Potential and Capacitance| NCERT 12th Physics:

Electrostatic Potential Energy of a System of Charges:

The electrostatic potential energy of a system of point charges may be defined as the amount of work done in assembling the charges at their location by bringing them in from infinity.

Electrostatic Potential Energy of a System of Two Point Charges:

Let a point charge q₁ is at rest at a point A in space. It takes no work to bring the first charge q₁ because there is no any electric field yet to work against. So

If charge q₂ is moved in from infinity to point B, the work required is

Electrostatic potential is a scalar quantity. In the above formula, the value of q₁ and q₂ must be with proper sign.

 

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