## Potential Energy in an External Field – Class 12 | Chapter – 2 | Physics Short Notes Series PDF for NEET & JEE

Potential Energy in an External Field: Potential energy in an external field refers to the energy stored in the electric field due to the presence of electric charges outside the system. This energy can be stored in the electric field produced by charges in the surrounding environment, such as charges in the walls of a container, or by charges in other objects near the system.

## Potential Energy in an External Field

The potential energy of a single point charge q at a point P a distance r from the charge can be calculated using the following formula:

U = kq/r

where k is the Coulomb constant and r is the distance from the point charge to the point P.

For a system of n charges q1, q2, …, qn, the potential energy can be calculated as the sum of the potential energies of each individual charge:

U = ∑ kq_i / r_i

where q_i is the charge of the i-th charge and r_i is the distance from the i-th charge to the point P.

The potential energy of a system of charges is an important quantity in the study of electricity and magnetism because it provides information about the energy stored in the electric field and the interactions between charges. Understanding the potential energy of a system of charges is essential for calculating the forces experienced by the charges and for understanding the behavior of electrically charged particles in electric and magnetic fields.

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