2
$\begingroup$

Potential Energy between two point charges is calculated as follows: First you bring a test charge from infinity to a point then you write the force between them, then you write the variation of work done with the force and you integrate it. The Work Done by external agent is stored in the form of potential energy in electric field. How is that stored in an electric field? Electric field is such an abstract concept while potential isn't.

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

1
$\begingroup$

"How is that stored in an electric field?". I don't think we can give a picture of how it is stored. We can come up with analogies: Maxwell himself compared the energy stored in an electric field with that stored in an elastic substance under stress.

The key thing is that if we assume that the energy of the electric field per unit volume is given by $$u=\tfrac12 \epsilon_0 E^2$$ then we get consistent results for the energy stored in a charged capacitor (check this out if you're not familiar!) and for the work done changing the separation of charges and so on.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.