Electric Potential Formula

The following equation is used to calculate the electric potential energy of an electrical system.


What is electric potential energy?

Electric potential energy is a term used in physics to describe the energy required to move a point charge against the force of an electric field. It’s also described as the total potential energy contained within a system due to electrical forces.


How to calculate electric potential energy?

The following example is a step by step example of how to calculate electric potential energy using the formula above.

  1. First, determine the point charge (coulombs). This could be a point charge at any given location. For this example we will say that value is 10.
  2. Next, determine the strength of the electric field measured in N/C. For this example the value is found to be 25.
  3. Next, measure the distance between the electric field and the point charge. This value is found to be 5m.
  4. Finally, calculate the electric potential using the formula and information from steps 1-3. EP = 10*25*5 = 1,250 Joules.

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