# Trying to define the electrostatic potential of a point charge

I've been trying to define the electrostatic potential (V) for a while now, it's something that I've covered last year and now need to know what exactly it does mean, I came up with this and all I need is an answer to whether it's right or wrong, thank you.

The electrostatic potential of a point charge q is the amount of energy stored in a +1C charge after moving in an electric field sourced from q. (from infinity to r)

Note that negative values mean that energy is being released rather than stored.

• Almost. The energy is not stored in the charge. You can say that it is stored in the system or perhaps the field, but a single object cannot store potential energy. Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 13:13
• Also please note that a charge of +1C can be huge compared to the field, so by adding (or removing) that charge, you will change the field.
– user112876
Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 13:29
• yes, it makes more sense if thought of as being stored/released from the field, I'll change it, @Ezze well that has just confused me, in this case would the law fail to give accurate results for something like a charge (q) which is a billion times smaller than +1C, I used this value instead of typing "positive unit charge". Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 17:50
• I just wanted to point out the fact that adding/removing charges to a field always changes the field itself, so it is a bit misleading to think about potential in terms of adding/removing stuff.
– user112876
Commented Oct 24, 2019 at 13:59

Electrostatic potential is a property of space. In electromagnetism we often think about fields as a way to describe the effect of objects (charges of currents) on other objects at a distance. The electrostatic potential $$V$$ is a property of points inside the field, every point in space has a potential, and when this point has a charge in it, the potential energy of this charge is $$qV$$.