Chemistry Formulas

Electric Potential Energy Formula

What is Electric Potential Energy?

Have you ever noticed that when you comb your hairs on a cold day, they suddenly stand up? Is it like a magic trick for you or the concept of science? Well, the reason is static electricity here. The concept of static electricity makes you sure how different types of charges interact together and how they form subatomic particles like electrons or protons.

The two popular types of charges are either positive or negative. Both oppositely charged ions exert forces on each other. If the charges are same, they will start repelling each other away. In case, both ions are charged opposite then they will attract each other.

So, let us back to the concept what happened to your hairs in actual. When you are brushing your hairs then electrons from the comb are transferred to the hairs and it will charge your hairs negatively a bit. When the hairs are charged negatively, each strand will start repelling them on end. I hope the concept is clear now why it happens actually.

Electric Potential Energy Formula

One more interesting style of how to calculate the interactions between charges is to calculate the electric potential energy with the help of a pre-defined formula. The potential energy (Ue) depends on the amount of charge that each object contains (q), how far apart the charges are (r), and Coulomb’s constant (k):

\[\ U_{e} = {K} \frac{q1q2}{r} \]

The potential energy is a special type of energy that is stored within the system. When the stored energy is converted to the kinetic energy then objects will start moving at speed until all potential energy has not been converted to the kinetic energy.