Electric Potential Calculator
Our electric potential calculator can obtain the electric potential at any distance from a single point charge or a number of point charges (up to ten).
If you don't know what the electric potential is, don't worry. Within this short article, we will cover:
- Electric potential definition;
- Electric potential formula/equation;
- Electric potential due to a point charge; and
- Electric potential due to a system of point charges.
What is the electric potential? Electric potential formula
We define the electric potential of a point charge at a point in space as the work required to bring a charge from infinity to that location.
Sounds confusing? Let's do some math first so you can start working with the electric potential calculator.
💡 Alternatively, check our electric field calculator to get a proper introduction to this topic.
Assume we had two positive point charges, and , separated by a distance of .
If you remember, Coulomb's law describes the force between these particles:
where is Coulomb's constant.
Now, assume we tried to bring the charges closer by moving from to (). For that, we would need to do work against this repulsive force:
by integrating between and we get:
Lastly, if we replace one of the charges with a unit test charge (a positive charge) and set our initial point at infinity, we obtain the electric potential equation for a point charge:
This potential depends only on and , and its unit is the volt (V).
🔎 Electromagnetism is an interesting topic with some counterintuitive repercussions, such as the force between current-carrying wires. Read more about it in this calculator!
Electric potential due to a system of point charges
We can extend this definition to a system of multiple point charges easily.
The electric potential of multiple point charges at a point in space is simply the vector sum of each individual electric potential:
With our electric potential calculator, you can input up to ten point charges and it will output the resulting electric potential at any point. Give it a try!
🙋 Our electric potential calculator is straightforward: input the charge and the distance, and it will automatically output the electric potential at that position.