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12.7: Summary of Relationships

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

The following table recaps the relationships discussed in this chapter.

Relationship between “per Coulomb” and absolute quantities.
Property of Object. Property of Space. Combine Into:
Charge (Coulombs) Field* (Newtons/Coulomb) Force (Newtons)
Charge (Coulombs) Potential* (Joules/C) Potential Energy (Joules)
  • An advanced note: for a certain class of forces called conservative forces e.g., gravity and the electromagnetic force, a specific potential distribution corresponds to a unique field. Conversely, a field corresponds to a unique potential distribution up to an additive constant. Remember though, it's relative potential between points not absolute potential that is physically relevant. In effect the field corresponds to a unique potential. In particular, we see that in the case of conservative forces the scalar potential (one degree of freedom per point) carries all information needed to determine the vector electric field (three degrees of freedom per point. The potential formulation is even more useful than it at first seems.

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