Electric Potential Energy Calculator

Welcome to the Electric Potential Energy Calculator tutorial! In this tutorial, we will explore the concept of electric potential energy and learn how to calculate it using the formula. Electric potential energy is a fundamental concept in the field of electromagnetism and plays a crucial role in various practical applications.

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Electric Potential Energy Calculator Results
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Interesting Facts

Before we dive into the details of the calculation, let's explore some interesting facts about electric potential energy:

  • Electric potential energy is the energy stored in an electric field due to the presence of charged particles.
  • The concept of electric potential energy is closely related to electric potential, which represents the potential energy per unit charge at a given point in an electric field.
  • The unit of electric potential energy is the joule (J), named after James Prescott Joule, a British physicist who made significant contributions to the study of energy.
  • Electric potential energy is influenced by the distance between charges and their magnitudes. It increases as charges approach each other and decreases as they move farther apart.
  • Electric potential energy is involved in various phenomena, including the operation of electric motors, the charging of batteries, and the transmission of electrical power.

Formula for Electric Potential Energy

The electric potential energy between two point charges can be calculated using the following formula:

Electric Potential Energy (PE) = k × (q1 × q2) / r

In this formula:

  • PE represents the electric potential energy.
  • k is the electrostatic constant, approximately equal to 9 × 109 Nm2/C2.
  • q1 and q2 are the magnitudes of the two point charges in coulombs (C).
  • r is the distance between the charges in meters (m).

The formula calculates the electric potential energy between two charges based on their magnitudes and the distance separating them. It quantifies the amount of work required to move the charges against the electric field.

Example: Electric Potential Energy in a Capacitor

Let's consider an example to see how electric potential energy is used in real-life applications. One practical application of electric potential energy is in a capacitor, which is a device used to store electrical energy.

Suppose we have a capacitor with a capacitance of 10 microfarads (μF) and a voltage of 100 volts (V). We can calculate the electric potential energy stored in the capacitor using the formula.

First, we need to convert the capacitance from microfarads to farads:

Capacitance (C) = 10 × 10-6 F

Next, we can substitute the values into the formula to calculate the electric potential energy:

Electric Potential Energy (PE) = (1/2) × C × V2

Substituting the given values:

Electric Potential Energy (PE) = (1/2) × 10 × 10-6 F × (100 V)2

Calculating the expression:

Electric Potential Energy (PE) = 0.005 J

Therefore, the electric potential energy stored in the capacitor is 0.005 joules (J).

This example demonstrates how electric potential energy is used to quantify the energy stored in a capacitor. It is an essential concept in designing and analyzing electrical circuits and systems.


In this tutorial, we explored the concept of electric potential energy and learned how to calculate it using the formula. We discussed interesting facts about electric potential energy and its significance in various practical applications. We also went through an example that showcased the real-life use of electric potential energy in a capacitor. Understanding electric potential energy is crucial for engineers and scientists working in the field of electricity and magnetism, as it forms the basis for many electrical calculations and design considerations.

By mastering the calculation of electric potential energy, you can gain a deeper understanding of electrical systems and effectively analyze their behavior. So, whether you're designing circuits, working with energy storage devices, or exploring the principles of electromagnetism, the knowledge of electric potential energy will be invaluable in your engineering endeavors.